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Intel Power Hardware

Gelsinger Shoots Down EMC On ARM 57

Posted by timothy
from the context-switching-is-costly dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "EMC president and incoming VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger most likely shot down any hope that the company's storage arrays would be built around the ARM architecture. Gelsinger, who also helped orchestrate the VMworld show in San Francisco this week, presented an Aug. 29 keynote at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, Calif. Afterward, an audience member told Gelsinger that as many as 25 percent of all servers could be shipped around the low-power ARM architecture, then asked if Gelsinger agreed with that estimate. EMC previously shifted its product lines to Intel processors. Gelsinger told the audience member that the situation is unlikely to change, even if ARM could deliver workloads at a fraction of the power of an X86 chip."
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Gelsinger Shoots Down EMC On ARM

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  • Re:duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Thursday August 30, 2012 @11:47AM (#41179083)

    Agreed - I read the summary and article more along the lines of "Company makes internal product design choice, ARM fan disappointed."

    Why is it news worthy what processor EMC choose? Are we missing something here? Did someone accidentally delete the paragraph which offered up something juicy, like "Gelsinger went on to shout the virtues of Intel, while his own personal Intel sales representative gave him a blow job and stuffed hundred dollar bills into his pants" ?

    Whoopdi-fucking-do that 25% of all servers could be based around ARM - does that immediately mean everyone that isn't using ARM should flock to it? Or does it mean that companies should continue to go on making internal decisions about their own products?

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @12:53PM (#41179775) Homepage

    If you have a rackmount case full of big disk drives front-ended by a CPU, the CPU isn't using a big fraction of the power. Nor does it constitute a large fraction of the cost. ARM is a 32-bit architecture. If you have a few terabytes in your disk array and 10Gb Ethernet going in and out. you might want more than 4GB of RAM in front of it.

    This sounds like some ARM fanboy thing.

  • Re:duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Thursday August 30, 2012 @01:36PM (#41180275) Journal

    Here is what I don't get about these ARM fanbois...why is it that one product has to "win" and the other "lose". Its like what Jobs told the reporters when they kept trying to turn it into Apple VS MSFT "MSFT doesn't have to lose for Apple to win" and he was right, he was going after a different market.

    With ARM you are talking extremely low power, idles in the sub-mw range. That low a power draw has a cost and that's IPC. No way in hell the newest ARMs can put out even half the IPC of a 6 year old Phenom quad much less the new Intel cores. On the flipside X86 chips can't drop to the sub-mw idle usage unless you really strip down the core design like Brazos or Atom.

    Its different markets folks, its a scalpel and a chainsaw. This VS crap is just bullshit, different use cases require different levels of IPC, some x86 fits better, some ARM. That simple.

  • Re:duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TopSpin (753) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @01:43PM (#41180391) Journal

    I was left to wonder who cared about what CPU EMC storage arrays use. Is there some EMC hacker culture with its own open source storage OS running on EMC devices? Where can I get one??

    Big storage needs lots of RAM. Intel has been providing 64 bit x86 CPUs, chipsets, memory controllers, etc. since 2004. I suppose EMC could license ARMv8 (the 64 bit extension of ARM that became available to licensees only about 12 months ago,) sign a contract with some foundry and design a system around 64 bit ARM. They certainly have the capital. If they did they would be the very first — there are no 64 bit ARMs being manufactured in volume anywhere yet.

    One can imagine ARM having some success in big storage. ARM cores can be extended with custom silicon to integrate important algorithms and they can achieve very high core density. Much of storage is embarrassingly parallel so peak performance of CPU cores isn't terribly important.

    Frankly I just don't think it matters much to big storage customers. They're paying for throughput, reliability, features and support, not an ISA. EMC could use 43 bit LISP processors soldered together by Taiwanese gnomes for all they care, as long as they can afford it and it performs.

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