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Intel Apache Hardware

Dell Strays Further From Intel Chips, Donates ARM Server to ASF 37

Posted by timothy
from the you-and-what-arm dept.
Says a story at Slash Datacenter: "Dell announced Oct. 24 that it had taken the next step into the low-power server market through the development of a second ARM-based server platform, which it will donate to the Apache Software Foundation for software development and app porting. The 'Zinc' concept runs the Calxeda EnergyCore chip, an ARM-based processor that the company hopes will eventually be featured in data centers running specialized workloads. It follows Dell’s earlier effort, dubbed 'Copper,' which it released in May. Neither server is commercially available, with Dell saying only that it would bring the hardware to market at an 'appropriate time.' Dell has said that it believes that the ARM-based server market is approaching an inflection point, and that it believes now is the right time to help foster development and testing of operating systems and applications for ARM servers. It’s a big step for the company, which has historically been an all-Intel shop, only occasionally buying processors from AMD." The ASF has access to the server (humming in a data center in Austin), and it's been busy: developers have "performed more than a dozen builds within the first 24 hours of the servers’ deployment, and on-going builds are being performed by the Apache Derby, River, Tapestry, and Thrift projects."
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Dell Strays Further From Intel Chips, Donates ARM Server to ASF

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  • Dell will have INFINITE year-on-year growth for its ARM servers once it manages to sell one. Buy that stock now!

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @02:46PM (#41768801) Homepage Journal
    shut down and give money back to the shareholders.
    • Too bad the ignorant mods haven't heard the Dell/Jobs story.

      • by dfghjk (711126)

        I've never read an accurate telling of the Dell/Apple story. It wasn't a Dell/Jobs story.

        The "ignorant mods" aren't missing anything not having heard the absurd partisan retellings by Apple fanboys.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:07PM (#41769123)

    I think that what is really going on here is that Dell is making these ARM servers to put some heat on Intel to give Dell lower prices. If Intel caves in, the ARM servers are never sold to the public.

    Dell used to use the same tactic against Intel, by periodically threatening use AMD CPUs. They also played the "Linux card" against Microsoft from time to time.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Played the linux card?
      You know they sell lots of RHEL servers right?
      They also sell a decent number of AMD CPUs in servers as well. For some work loads they make sense.

      • You know they sell lots of RHEL servers right?

        You know that they threatened to do that for years and years before they actually did it?

        They also sell a decent number of AMD CPUs in servers as well.

        They also talked about this for years and years before they finally followed through.

        • Name one person or company that isn't doing something they "threatened" to do for years prior? I mean, isn't that what we call "planning", not "threatening"?

          -- Posted from my Linux Desktop. I think I'll file the above argument under: "Playing the 'Desktop Linux' card."

    • by Jeng (926980)

      It is only a negotiating tactic if it ARM servers don't pan out for them, otherwise it is probably an attempt at finding out what the actual demand is for a product such as this.

      • Ultimately I think what the demand is will depend on how they price it. Yes power and rackspace do cost money but still the prices i've seen so-far for arm server gear have been unattractive to say the least.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I've been thinking the same thing. Honestly if they could price arm/sparc/mips hardware at the same mobo/cpu prices as intel, preferably with ram slots instead of 'dedicated' ram, I'd be all over any of the three that came out.

          But they haven't. The arm servers being discussed are dedicated onboard BGA ram chips. Mips, other than the Chinese longsoon(sp?) processors haven't been available on the desktop, high end or otherwise in what, 10 years? And at least the export versions of said hardware are definitely

          • The arm servers being discussed are dedicated onboard BGA ram chips.

            Not true, the new server orientated arm chips like the marvell armada XP and the calexeda energycore are finally supporting the bus widths needed to drive normal memory modules and the vendors (at least dell, HP, boston and openblocks) are putting on slots for them in at least some of their designs.

  • Dell is thinking of buying AMD. We don't need that. Samsung buying AMD is better.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      No, what we need is for Nvidia to buy Via which would give Nvidia an in for x86 processors as well as many other similar markets.

      • No, what we need is for Nvidia to buy Via which would give Nvidia an in for x86 processors as well as many other similar markets.

        Also, Nvidiavia. Awesome name.

      • False. If Via sells, their x86 license is forfeit. The only way it would work would be a reverse merger with Via *buys* Nvidia.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is this the point were we proclaim Intel's death?

    • Intel will be relevant for 8 years more at least, very likely much more.

      Perhaps you mean death of Intel-as-a-monopoly?
    • Re:Intel is dead! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bengie (1121981) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @04:41PM (#41770487)
      Intel is not a stagnant monopoly, they have best-in-class R&D. In just the past few years, their IGP has gone from "god-awful" to "almost as good as AMD/nVidia low-end", which is their target. They've also gone from "power hungry desktop chips" to 10%-20% more power draw than ARM7 but 50%-100% better performance.... yeah

      This is going to be some great times for everyone except Intel and ARM. They're going to war.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Is this the point were we proclaim Intel's death?"

      When Netcraft confirms it.

  • I could see it making a lot of sense for certain workloads.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday October 25, 2012 @05:16PM (#41770897) Homepage Journal

    If you want a real ARM beast, look into the Slab [baserock.com] servers at Baserock. 2400+ cores per rack, air cooled. Plus, they're an open source company.

    • They didn't return my emails asking for price info but I later found an article from the register quoting arround $10K per slab. IMO that is just too much for what they are offering.

      • They didn't return my emails asking for price info but I later found an article from the register quoting arround $10K per slab. IMO that is just too much for what they are offering.

        Thanks. That's interesting - they were on FLOSS Weekly talking about being more cost effective than x86. I can get really nice 64-core 1U AMD systems for under $5K, and those are 64-bit superscalar branch predictive CPU cores running at twice the clock. Inter-VM networking is faster than 10GbE so now I don't get how they coul

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Hi, I gave that interview ;) I actually said that cost effectiveness is not what people are looking at ARM servers for. I think the main thing that people are looking at ARM for is density and power. In terms of *building ARM systems*, which is what we built the server for, its about 1/3rd of the cost of using qemu on x86.

          Hope that's clearer!

          Rob Taylor

  • I've read conflicting reports on MS releasing a server OS for ARM. No short term plans for it (as of a year ago) to other claims it is inevitable/upcoming. AMD is going to be creating 64bit ARM chips (32bit vs 64bit was supposedly an issue with offering windows server for ARM.. though I'm not sure I buy that).

    For most server stuff Linux is great (or BSD), but I have one application (as in purpose/use) where little ARM based servers running a windows OS would be perfect. Affordable, power efficient, small,

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