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HP Intel Hardware

HP Announces ARM-Based Server Line 125

sammcj writes with news that HP is developing servers based on 32-bit ARM processors from Calxeda. Their current model is only a test setup, but they plan to roll out a finalized design by the middle of next year. "HP's server design packs 288 Calxeda chips into a 4U rack-mount server, or 2,800 in a full rack, with a shared power, cooling, and management infrastructure. By eliminating much of the cabling and switching devices used in traditional servers and using the low-power ARM processors, HP says it can reduce both power and space requirements dramatically. The Redstone platform uses a 4U (7-inch) rack-mount server chassis. Inside, HP has put 72 small server boards, each with four Calxeda processors, 4GB of RAM and 4MB of L2 cache. Each processor, based on the ARM Cortex-A9 design, runs at 1.4GHz and has its own 80 gigabit cross-bar switch built into the chip"
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HP Announces ARM-Based Server Line

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  • SATA?! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @05:33AM (#37917518)

    Come on, guys, it's 2011. We're talking servers here. Forget SATA; throw in native iSCSI support (or fibre channel, but iSCSI would probably be significantly easier - if only because it uses standard Ethernet ports, rather than needing extra protocol support), and you'll have something that's a serious contendor in that space.

    Think about it: with SATA, you have a bunch of hard disks, probably mostly disused, almost all of them performing atrociously (SATA is notorious for only being good with large sequential I/O). With iSCSI, you can hook up any disk array you damn well want, whatever its performance characteristics. Throw 10 Gb ethernet into the mix, and you have a winner (an expensive winner when you factor in the switch ports, but at least it gives the architect the option.)

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @05:49AM (#37917600) Homepage

    With the world moving to 64 bits to accomodate huge databases in memory and on disk they must be aiming for low hanging fruit here. Still, I'd like to get hold of one IF they ever convert it into a desktop version - would be nice to have a linux installation at home that doesn't pay homage to wintel in any way.

  • by bertok ( 226922 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @06:24AM (#37917806)

    Those processors run at only about 1.1 GHz, and ARM isn't quite as snappy on a "per GHz" basis as a typical Intel core because of the power-vs-speed tradeoff, so I figure that a 1.1 GHz ARM quad-core chip has about the same computer power as a single ~3GHz latest generation Intel Xeon core.

    They say the can pack 288 quad core ARM processors into 4 rack units (with no disks). For comparison, HP sells blade systems that let you pack in 16 dual-socket blades into 10 rack units. Populate each socket with a 10 core Intel Xeon, and we're talking 320 cores. So for comparison, that's the equivalent of 72 cores per rack unit with ARM, vs 32 with Intel. The memory density is the other way around, with 288 GB per rack unit for ARM, and 614 GB with Intel.

    So, if you have a an embarrassingly parallel problem to solve that can fit into 4GB of memory per node, doesn't use much I/O, and can run on Linux, this might be a pretty good idea.

  • by Imbrondir ( 2367812 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @06:42AM (#37917894)

    In 2010 ARM announced 40 bit virtual memory extension for 32bit ARMv7. That's 1 Terabyte of RAM. Which should be enough for everybody :)

    On the other hand ARM a couple of days ago announced 64 bit ARMv8. But you can probably can't buy one of those for 6-12 months or so. Perhaps HP is simply using ARM chips available now more as a pilot for when the knight in full shining 64 bit address space comes along

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle