ARM Officials Head to Red Hat Summit to Talk Servers

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2015-06-23 Print this article Print
data center

A growing number of Linux distributions are throwing their support behind 64-bit ARM processors. Free distributions like Debian 8, Fedora and OpenSUSE support the architecture, and Canonical, Red Hat and SUSE are working in that direction. Red Hat last year launched an early access program for partners—there are more than 40 members now. On June 22 officials announced it was making its Red Hat Linux Server for ARM Development Preview 7.1 available to all members of the partner program and their end users as an unsupported development platform.

It gives the organizations a common, standards-based OS for existing 64-bit ARMv8 hardware, according to Red Hat.

"Beyond this release, we plan to continue collaborating with our partner ISVs and OEMs, end users, and the broader open source community to enhance and refine the platform to ultimately work with the next generation of ARM-based designs," Red Hat said in a statement.

ARM also is making progress with Java, Underhill said. There currently is an OpenJDK project to support 64-bit ARM, and in March 2014, the OpenJDK ARM effort was demonstrated running on a system powered by Applied Micro's X-Gene SoCs. In March, it was up streamed, according to ARM officials. In addition, Oracle last year ran its first demonstrations of ARMv8 Java at the Java One and ARM TechCon shows, and support for the ARMv8 architecture is now available in a public beta, Underhill said.

ARM officials also point to several projects underway using 64-bit ARM-based systems. For example, the University of Utah this year announced it was adopting HP Moonshot servers powered by Applied Micro X-Gene SoCs to create a cloud environment—dubbed CloudLab—to run various workloads for researchers across the country. In addition, DataCentered also is using Applied Micro-based Moonshot to build an OpenStack-based cloud.

PayPal, in its use of HP Moonshot m400 systems for real-time data analysis, found that acquisition and power consumption fell significantly over traditional data center equipment, while node density-per-rack increased more than 10 times.

ARM also is using Moonshot systems for its Linux and tool chain development, a move that reduced build time from 10 weeks to two days, Underhill said.



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