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  • Their data analytics and cloud platforms for industrial workloads are helping scientists to cure diseases and examine the beginning of the universe.

  • The vendors are combining Lenovo's Flex Systems with EMC's VSPEX storage hardware to create solutions for private cloud and VDI environments.

  • In its first year, the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community created to leverage IBM's POWER processor, went from zero to 80—figuratively and literally. After its formation in December 2013, the foundation now has more than 80 members across the full hardware and software stack from 20 different countries. The foundation offers open access to IBM's POWER processor, making POWER intellectual property and member technologies licensable to other companies for open development. The result is an open ecosystem that draws deeper collaboration and more compelling innovation, enabling its members to share expertise, investment and server-class IP to address the evolving needs of today's customers and technology industry. "Developers now have access to an expanded and open set of server technologies for the first time. This type of 'collaborative development' model will change the way data center hardware is designed and deployed," Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive for IBM's Software and Systems unit, said in a statement. What follows are key moments from 2014 and a look at what's ahead.

  • IBM's new z13 mainframe is built to support mobile, cloud and analytics workloads, establishing a renewed relevance for the mainframe system.

  • The company now offers an Azure Data Center Migration Solution and expands support of its Migration Accelerator to include Linux servers and virtual machines.

  • Particularly strong for enterprise Linux, 2014 offered a rare confluence of release timing calendars. The three major enterprise Linux vendors delivered milestone updates in 2014. On April 17, Ubuntu 14.04, code-named Trusty Tahr, was released as a long-term support (LTS) version of Ubuntu. (Ubuntu issues new LTS releases every two years; each LTS has up to five years of support.) Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL) came out June 10, marking the first major RHEL update for Red Hat since 2010. Red Hat supports its enterprise releases for 10 years. On Oct. 27, SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 was released, marking the first major update to SUSE's flagship enterprise Linux platform since 2009. Big enterprise Linux releases were not the only updates during the year, Red Hat's Fedora community Linux distribution delivered Fedora 21 Dec. 9, providing server-, cloud- and workstation-focused editions. Ubuntu 14.10, code-named the Utopic Unicorn, which debuted Oct. 23, provides new big data capabilities. Also out in 2014, Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) 1.0 Linux distribution provides a new privacy-focused OS choice. In this slide show, eWEEK looks back at key Linux events of 2014.

  • In some ways, the Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL380 Gen9 server is the perfect server for most businesses. On one hand, it's small enough to fit the needs of most small and medium-size businesses, while on the other, it's designed with all of the features necessary to be a data center server in a large organization. In addition, it's flexible enough to meet a wide variety of needs—ranging from offering general-purpose file and print services to providing vast quantities of storage to delivering remote compute services. This dual-Xeon 2U platform includes a flexible remote monitoring server built in. You can order it with processors ranging from four to 18 cores, and it's designed for easy servicing, even by companies that don't have a dedicated IT staff. But the DL380 is also fully capable of service in any IT department, and it has all of the features necessary to stay online with minimal downtime, including hot-swappable drives, power supplies and cooling fans. Plus, it's designed for installation as a headless server in a rack with hundreds of others running in a data center. And it includes the lights-out monitoring and management necessary for that type of service. If you can only pick one type of server, this might be the one.

  • Silver Lining Systems next year will launch servers and storage appliances that will be based on technology from Calxeda, which shut down last year.

  • The OEM will deploy a powerful Intel-based ICE X supercomputer and an InfiniteStorage 5600 storage system at an Air Force facility in Mississippi.

  • Company officials said Rackspace's OpenPower move dovetails with other open-source efforts with OpenStack and the Open Compute Project.

  • The rapid growth and emerging importance of managing big data are accelerating the opportunity for new discovery while at the same time compounding the challenges today's businesses face. With a growing open server ecosystem and innovations infused through the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM Power Systems are built from the ground up to accelerate big data insights and hybrid cloud deployment. As organizations work to make fact-based decisions based on data, they need advanced systems that are able to crunch massive amounts of structured and unstructured data and deliver insights within seconds. Also, with the onslaught of big data, the current approach to supercomputing—which entails moving data repeatedly from storage to processor for analysis—has become unsustainable. To address this issue, IBM has pioneered a new "data-centric" approach to systems—an architecture that embeds compute power everywhere data resides in the system, allowing for a convergence of analytics, modeling, visualization and simulation, driving new insights at incredible speeds. This eWEEK slide show takes a look at a variety of industries that are turning to Power Systems to help manage their big data needs.

  • System administrators who have not patched their storage servers for the Shellshock flaw may have given online attackers a backdoor into their network.

  • The next version of Windows Server will have enhancements to help organizations cobble together high-availability storage set-ups minus the hefty price tag.

  • The foundation's president says the wins in 2014 will lead to more milestones next year, including new systems and the group's first summit.

  • The systems vendor will supply two XC40 supercomputers and two Sonexian storage systems to a Navy computing center in Mississippi.

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