How OpenPOWER Went From Zero to 80 in Its First Year

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How OpenPOWER Went From Zero to 80 in Its First Year

by Darryl K. Taft

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Jan. 19: China Announces OpenPOWER Intentions

Kicking off 2014, the OpenPOWER Foundation welcomed two Chinese organizations, the Suzhou PowerCore Technology Company and the Research Institute of Jiangsu Industrial Technology, to the community. Suzhou PowerCore announced its intent to license IBM's POWER architecture to provide customized chip design solutions and market processors for servers in China. The Research Institute of Jiangsu Industrial Technology announced plans to help build an ecosystem for POWER development in the Jiangsu Province and throughout China.

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Feb. 12: Samsung Comes on Board OpenPOWER

In February, Samsung joined the OpenPOWER Foundation. The move fortified OpenPOWER as an organization able to attract top tech partners and an organization worth watching.

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April 23: OpenPOWER "Opens for Business"

At the Open Innovation Summit in San Francisco, OpenPOWER declared itself "open for business" at its first public event. Having grown to 26 members worldwide, OpenPOWER revealed an innovation road map while also releasing detailed technical POWER specifications for the first time.

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April 28: Google Reveals Motherboard With POWER8

Also in April, OpenPOWER Chairman Gordon MacKean displayed an early system design architecture that Google, through its leadership in OpenPOWER, is investigating as an alternative for large-scale data centers with massive data requirements.

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July 2: POWER Firmware Code Accessible Through GitHub

In July, IBM made 420,000 lines of POWER architecture firmware code wide open—posting it publicly on GitHub and making it fully accessible to members of the OpenPOWER Foundation and to the entire development community at large.

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Oct. 3: IBM and Nvidia Collaborate Openly

In October 2014, IBM and Nvidia leveraged the OpenPOWER stack to introduce a new system blending IBM's POWER architecture with Nvidia's GPU processors. The new system, the IBM Power Systems Power S824L server, is capable of handling massive amounts of computational data faster, with nearly 20 percent better price/performance than comparable systems.

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Oct. 8: Tyan Launches OpenPOWER Customer Reference System

Reaching an important milestone for the Foundation, Tyan launched the world's first OpenPOWER customer reference system in October 2014. The TYAN GN70-BP010 allows end users to develop software based on the OpenPOWER architecture tailored to their individual requirements.

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Oct. 28: China's Technology Leaders Endorse the OpenPOWER Ecosystem

At the China POWER Technology Alliance & Cooperation Conference in Suzhou, the Chinese government declared uncompromised support for a server platform of choice for the nation—urging more than 400 tech industry leaders from various parts of the country to rally behind and begin building out a server ecosystem based on OpenPOWER.

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Nov. 14: Department of Energy Chooses OpenPOWER Design for $325M Supercomputing Contract

In November, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded IBM contracts valued at $325 million to develop and deliver the world's most advanced supercomputing systems at the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, helping them advance innovation and discovery in science, engineering and national defense. Incorporating an OpenPOWER platform built collaboratively by IBM, Nvidia and Mellanox, the design of the new supercomputers is "data-centric," meaning that it minimizes data in motion and energy consumption, providing cost-effective modeling, simulation and big data analytics.

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Dec. 16: OpenPOWER Celebrates Momentum With New Members, Plans for More Products

At the one-year anniversary of its formation, the OpenPOWER Foundation continued its expansion and product development momentum, welcoming Rackspace and Avnet and announcing that 12 of its members were designing OpenPOWER systems. By adding Rackspace to its growing roster, the foundation is able to tap into the leading cloud company's expertise on open server design, the Open Compute Project and OpenStack. The foundation will look to Avnet to expose OpenPOWER's compatible offerings to a broader range of clients in a variety of industries.

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2015 and Beyond: The Future is Open

In its first year, the OpenPOWER Foundation has served as an enabler in the industry, bringing together thought leaders across multiple parts of the IT stack with the goal of promoting innovation. Thanks to the Foundation, achievements can be attained at multiple levels simultaneously so that there is much greater potential of beating the price-performance curve. As it looks forward, OpenPOWER will host the first OpenPOWER Summit, scheduled to take place in March in San Jose. The OpenPOWER Foundation's members in 2015 will continue to foster a collaborative environment, working with current members and welcoming new members to drive open innovation in the new era of computing.

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Big Year for Enterprise Linux Distros Includes Major Updates

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...
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