Posted on

Update: Latest Progress in the ARM Server Industry

Its no secret that at miniNodes, we are ARM fans.  We believe that the future of the datacenter is one where efficiency, density, reduced power consumption, and scalability are the primary design factors.  ARM processors are well positioned to meet that demand, and ARM has committed to making a strategic investment in this market.  However, change does not happen overnight.

Instead, ARM is taking slow, but very deliberate steps to ensure that the hardware and software ecosystem are optimized and mature, to increase their chances of success.  Let’s recap some of those latest efforts:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM Development Preview 7.1 – Red Hat has been working hard on adding support for 64-bit ARM architecture to their popular Linux distribution, and is getting closer to reaching a beta state.  For now however, you do need to be a part of their Early Access Program.

Linaro / 96Boards Project –  This project is focused on driving down the cost of 64-bit ARM hardware and making it more readily available to developers.  Two boards are now shipping, the Dragonboard 410c with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, and the HiKey board powered by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 620 processor.   The upcoming “Enterprise Edition” specification is expected to launch in the near future, as well.

CentOS – The CentOS team is hard at work building an ARM version of their Linux distro as well, and have some Google Summer of Code projects devoted to the effort.

Gigabyte – Last month at Computex, Gigabyte showed off a new server motherboard based on the AppliedMicro XGene1 ARM processor, as well as a cold storage server powered by an ARM processor.

So, as you can see, the ARM Server ecosystem is still rapidly evolving, but not with reckless abandon.  Instead, deliberate and measured steps are being taken to ensure a successful entrance in to the datacenter and server industry.

Posted on

HOW-TO: Install MySQL on the Ubuntu Arm Server

Installing MySQL Server on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Arm Server is very simple! Follow these quick steps to get MySQL up and running, ready for your databases!

1. Connect to your server via SSH.
2. Login with your username and password.
3. Run the following command:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

4. Follow the prompts to install MySQL (enter Y for ‘Yes’ where necessary).
5. You will be prompted to set a password for MySQL.
6. After it has completed, you can verify that MySQL is installed by running these commands:

To verify that MySQL is running:

service --status-all

To check the version of MySQL installed:

apt-cache show mysql-server | grep version

Congratulations, you are now running MySQL Server and are ready to start creating or importing your databases on your Arm server!

Posted on

Allwinner A80 Optimus Board Arrives for Testing!

The Allwinner A80 Optimus Board has arrived, and we are currently evaluating its ability to perform as an ARM microserver!

It just got here, and the first thing we noticed right away, is that it is FAST!

I’ll keep the blog updated as we make progress getting Linux running on it, and then getting a good software stack in place.

Here is what we have so far:

Allwinner A80 Optimus Board
Allwinner A80 Optimus Board Android
Allwinner A80 Optimus Board Android









Stay up to date on our Google+ page, as well!

Posted on

HOW-TO: Install Node.js on the miniNode ARM Server (Fedora)

Installing Node.js on a Fedora 20 miniNode ARM dedicated server is extremely simple!

To get Node.js installed, you have two choices.  Either install it via the ‘yum’ package manager, or, by checking out the code directly from git.  Either method will work great.

Option 1, via ‘yum’:

1.  SSH to your miniNode, and become root.

su -

2.  Install Node.js via the ‘yum’ command.

yum install nodejs npm

Option 2, via git:

1.  SSH to your miniNode, and become root.

su -

2.  Install git.

yum install git

3.  Check out Node.js from the repository, and then build it.

git clone
cd node
git checkout v0.10.28 #Try checking for what the stable version is
./configure && make && sudo make install

Finally, use Node.js to build cool applications!

Posted on

Now Available, Fedora 20 ARM Servers is proud to announce that it is the first provider to offer a leased RedHat compatible ARM Server.  By providing the latest Fedora 20 Linux operating system running on ARM Cortex processors, is pioneering RHEL compatible hosted ARM servers.  Fedora 20 is the most recent version of Fedora, a Linux operating system focused on leading-edge technologies, innovation, and security.

This milestone is significant for several reasons.  First, Fedora 20 includes native support for ARM processors, which is a planned feature of future Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases.  This allows developers and administrators to test out their software and applications prior to the release of RHEL for ARM, on a compatible platform.

Second, ARM Servers are projected to capture a sizable portion of the datacenter and server market share in the coming years, as their energy efficiency and low cost of both purchase and ownership threaten to disrupt the industry.  ARM Holdings is aiming for 10% of the market by 2017 (reference).  With that much of the industry running on ARM processors, IT executives and staff need to ensure they are prepared for the future.

Finally, this milestone is significant as it brings an entirely new hardware / software combination to the hosted server industry, and demonstrates’s commitment and leadership to the microserver, ARM Server, and low-power cloud computing market.

More information on the Fedora Project can be located on their website,


More information on ARM Holdings can be located on their website,

Posted on

Building an ARM Server Cluster

Although we’re still fine tuning our multi-node ARM server platform, we thought it might be interesting to show off the test environment we use to develop with.  Here is what our sandbox looks like.  If you have any questions, feel free to add them to the comments below!


Posted on

Advantages of ARM Servers

People often ask about the advantages of ARM Servers compared to x86 platforms, so we thought we’d outline a few of the key advantages offered by ARM dedicated microservers.  If you think we missed any, feel free to add your input to the comments section below!


ARM Advantage #1:  Cost

Let’s assume you are in the market for a modest dedicated server to host your website, email, or custom services.  A popular provider is HostGator, who offers an entry level server for $174 per month.  It is a dual-core Intel 2.3ghz processor, has 4gb of RAM, CentOS Linux, and 2 IP Addresses.  It will do the job.

However, a miniNode ARM microserver will also do the job.  A dual-core 1ghz ARM processor, 1gb of RAM, and Ubuntu Linux are not quite equal, but for $14 per month you could get 2 of them, and separate the Web and Database servers… most likely achieving similar performance for a fraction of the price.

Also, as ARM continues to make inroads in the datacenter, these specs will quickly catch up to the x86 platforms.


ARM Advantage #2:  Power

Let’s continue using that HostGator server as a baseline.  While they don’t disclose the exact thermal specifications of that server, it would be surprising if it had anything less than a 250 to 300 watt power supply driving it.  ARM servers, on the other hand, trace their ancestry to smartphones and tablets, and therefore have a strong focus on efficiency and minimal power consumption.   ARM processors and platforms typically operate within a 1 to 15 watt envelope, with miniNodes drawing right around 5 watts under load.  At datacenter scale, these power savings are enormous.


ARM Advantage #3:  Ubiquity

ARM has shipped 50 billion chips, and the Internet of Things, wearables, and smart devices will bring about the next 50 billion in short order.  Servers based on ARM designs are able to seamlessly operate, communicate, and interact with those devices.  Android, Linux, and Windows RT all run on ARM.

Let’s return to the HostGator example one last time.  They advertise “Apache Web Server, MySQL, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby (on Rails), FFMpeg Support” and “IPTables Firewall” are supported on their server.  miniNodes offer that same LAMP software stack, in addition to being an ideal platform for node.js, jQuery, MongoDB, Hadoop, and Python development.


Hopefully this helps clarify why ARM is such a disruptive technology in the datacenter and server ecosystem.  Again, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to add your comments!


Posted on

Low-Power Computing with ARM Servers

As any server administrator or hardware enthusiast can tell you, today’s servers offer unprecedented amounts of computing power, memory, and storage for the demanding applications run by big business. Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors with up to 16 cores, terabytes of RAM, petabytes of storage, and specially tuned GPU’s can crunch data and ensure mission critical services run 24/7 with no interruptions in service. And while this is great if you’re a Fortune 500 company with billions of dollars in revenue, what if your needs are more modest? What if you require the same technologies, software stack, access, and control that the large enterprises have, but on a smaller scale? What if, quite simply, you don’t need the raw horsepower that even basic servers offer?

miniNodes ARM Servers offer a unique and compelling alternative. miniNodes ARM Servers are bare metal servers with a more modest hardware configuration, that cost less and use less power. They run Ubuntu Server, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, and can host services, email, applications, DNS, Hadoop, Node.js, Ruby, and more. They come with the operating system already installed and configured, and they cost just a fraction of the price of a typical leased server.

Further, since they are based on the same ARM processor architecture that smartphones and tablets use, they are engineered for efficiency. Typical power loads average about 5 Watts, compared to 500 to 1000 Watts for a traditional server. So not only do you save money versus a traditional server, you are helping conserve energy and minimize the impact on the environment.

We know there are more powerful solutions out there. But, in many use cases, they are simply overkill for a company’s computing needs… We call this “Right-Sized Computing”, and we hope it better suits your needs.

Posted on

Testing Your Code and Applications on ARM Servers

With the launch of miniNodes last week, developers, programmers, students and more can now test out their code and applications on ARM Servers easily and cost effectively.  miniNodes ARM Servers are bare metal dedicated servers, running on ARM Cortex processor cores, with integrated memory and storage.  They run Ubuntu Server 13.10 (with support for Fedora 20 coming soon) and are accessible via SSH like any other standard server.

The significance of ARM processors, and the importance of ensuring code works on ARM platforms is quickly becoming crucial for business.  ARM Cortex processors power the iPhone and iPad, and the vast majority of Android phones and tablets as well.  As more and more computing shifts from the desktop computer to the mobile device, application developers need to ensure their code works on those platforms.

miniNodes can help with this transition by providing a low cost sandbox for developers to test apps, without worrying about a virtualization layer, incompatibilities, or integration efforts.