Meg Whitman: ‘Moonshot’ Servers Will Make You Rethink HP’s Products

Meg Whitman
HP CEO Meg Whitman

At HP’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, CEO Meg Whitman tried to recast the company as a leader in creating new products.

“Despite what you might have heard, innovation is alive and well at Hewlett-Packard,” she said

She cited how many patents HP has earned (36,000) and how much money it spent on R&D last year ($3.3 billion).

But HP needs to “do more, better, faster to bring those ideas to market,” she said.

A shareholder asked Whitman to name some products that would knock out the competition—particularly Oracle, which has moved from its long-dominant position in enterprise software into HP’s hardware turf.

Whitman named the following enterprise products:

HP ProLiant Gen8 Servers, which HP calls an “intelligent” server because it automatically adjust itself to run apps faster.

HP’s Moonshot server: “This could be truly a revolution,”  she says. Moonshot servers use chips similar to the ones that powers your cell phone. As a result, they use 94 per cent less space, 87 per cent less energy, and cost half as much as similar Intel servers, she said.

Whitman’s right on this one. Low-power servers like Moonshot could change the game.

HP’s 3Par storage systems. 3Par’s mid-tier storage systems have actually sold out, Whitman said. However,some of the products she named in 3Par’s lineup, like HP’s data de-duplication product StoreOnce, are not particularly unique.

HP’s networking products and software-defined networking. SDN is a technology that is upending the way companies build networks and Whitman believes that HP is “the leader” in it.

It’s true that HP was one of the first vendors to jump on board SDN, and that’s good. It’s too soon to call HP the market leader, though. Dell, VMware, and Cisco are all attacking the SDN opportunity, too.