As the ARM server market began to emerge in press and powerpoint, it was not hard to separate the hype from reality: it was a lot of hype. Spread by well-meaning advocates trying to change the world and give Intel a run for their money, these myths created unrealistic expectations on whether ARM chips are worthy of server applications, when they will ship, and how hard they will be to use. I applaud the early leaders including APM and AMD for their early efforts on 64-bit products. While they have tried to balance their excitement and the uncertainty of semiconductor development schedules, there are nonetheless a few myths that need clearing up. Here are six common ones: [Read more...]
It’s the middle of June, which means we’re smack in the middle of tradeshow and conference season for the IT industry. We were at Computex in Taipei two weeks ago, and this week we’re participating in International Supercomputing in Hamburg, and GigaOM’s Structure conference in San Francisco. In fact, our CEO, Barry Evans, is on a panel to discuss fabric technologies and their role in the evolution of datacenters. Should be a good one!
In spite of the hectic season, it hasn’t stopped us from moving forward with what everyone is really waiting for: benchmarks! Well, I’m happy to be able to share some preliminary results of both performance and power consumption for those of you looking for more efficient web servers.
Two weeks ago, Calxeda publicly demonstrated Ubuntu 12.04 on the EnergyCore SoC, a monumental occasion for the ARM server industry. The progress that’s been made by Calxeda and our partners over the last 12 months has truly been remarkable. The journey we’ve taken and the opportunity afforded us reminds me of a famous childhood story, “The Little Engine That Could”; a story that teaches children about hard work and believing in ourselves.
(Spoiler alert: Essentially, there’s a stranded train that needs help getting over a high mountain. Some of the larger, more established, engines are asked to pull the train, but for various reasons they refuse. So they ask the small engine, who agrees to try. The engine successfully pulls the train over the mountain while repeating its motto: “I-think-I-can”.)
There have been naysayers who have, from the very beginning, doubted not only Calxeda’s ability, but the ability of an entire ecosystem to recognize and respond to an industry desperate for change. And that’s exactly why the world’s first Ubuntu 12.04 demo on an ARM server two weeks ago was so exciting! Together with our partners, we demonstrated the following on a Calxeda reference server:
- Fully functional web server powering a local copy of calxeda.com
- Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform via OpenStack
- Support for Canonical’s Juju and MaaS for system configuration and provisioning
Some people have recently asked me, “so, what’s the big deal?” Well, I want to take a moment to provide some color commentary about these demos and, more importantly, what these demos really represent. [Read more...]