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Dell Lends An ARM Server Concept To Open Source Community

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Dell donates a concept to the Apache Software Foundation, as ARM server revolution gets going

Dell has donated an ARM server concept to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), in the belief that the open source community will help develop and promote the model.

Servers based on ARM chips are gaining some traction, although still are miles away from challenging Intel’s x86 architecture, which dominates data centres across the globe.

Yet ARM server designs, due to their low-power and high-efficiency attributes, have caught the attention of a host of tech giants, including HP and Dell. Customers are looking at them for hyperscale deployments, or Big Data projects, where lots of parallel processes are run across numerous servers.

Dell flexes ARM server designs

The Dell donation, which includes hosting and technical support for the ASF community, consists of a hosted server running on Calxeda’s Server-on-Chip EnergyCore processors.

Calxeda is hosting the Dell Zinc ARM-based server concept at an Austin-based location for remote access by ASF, which will manage the systems, from upgrading to patching.

The Zinc server, much like the Copper ARM server announced in May, is not generally available. Dell has not yet set a date for when it will bring ARM servers to market.

The Hadoop community has already started building projects on the server. Teams had already run 12 projects on the server in the first 24 hours of deployment, Dell said.

“We recognise the market potential for ARM servers, and with our experience and understanding of the market, are enabling developers with systems and access as the ARM server market matures,” said Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager for servers at Dell.

“Access to ARM servers can help advance existing Apache projects, catalyze innovations in the Apache Incubator and Labs, and benefit the Apache community at-large. Many of our projects have already put the servers to use and are demonstrating measurable progress,” said Doug Cutting, chairman of The Apache Software Foundation and creator of Hadoop.

Dell announced its first ARM-based servers known as Copper in May, handing them out to select partners and customers for testing.

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