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.