Server platform with Applied Micro's X-Gene System-on-Chip, based on 64-bit ARM. (Image by Applied Micro)

Applied Micro and Canonical Demo Production Software on 64-bit ARM Server

Applied Micro Circuits and Canonical demonstrated for the first time a production software deployment on 64-bit ARM architecture at an event in Taipei Friday. The demonstration used the latest OpenStack (Icehouse) release using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in a KVM virtualized environment on a server based on Applied Micro’s X-Gene System-on-Chip. The applications included Elasticsearch, SugarCRM, Kibana, Logstash, Hadoop and MediaWiki.

“We are pleased to offer the first ARM 64-bit Server-on-a-Chip production silicon with full certification for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, including all the relevant server workloads and tools to allow commercial hyperscale deployments on X-Gene,” said Gaurav Singh, vice president at AppliedMicro. “The X-Gene plus Ubuntu offering means enterprises can now capture substantial TCO savings for their scale-out data centers.”

Whether for hyper-scale enterprise or Internet companies, the ARM server market has potential because of the architecture’s low power requirements and the ARM partner ecosystem. With more and more enterprise applications migrating to the cloud, enterprise system vendors are shifting toward an open architecture to deliver data and services.

Both Applied Micro and Canonical were early participants in the ARM Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) specification launched earlier this year. Applied Micro acquired the first architectural license for the ARM v8 64-bit architecture in 2010 and is now first to demonstrate production software on a 64-bit ARM server.

The Applied Micro X-Gene is a fully integrated Server-on-a-chip (SoC). Servers using it do not need other chips, such as I/O controller hub, NIC or baseboard management controller. Applied Micro showcased the X-Gene enterprise-class ARMv8 64-bit Server SoC at the Open Compute Summit V earlier this year.

Applied Micro was recently included in Canonical’s Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL). Ubuntu has been a reference operating system for the open-source cloud architecture OpenStack from early on, and Canonical hopes to build a tightly integrated enterprise stack for companies running OpenStack clouds. The Ubuntu Metal as a Service (MaaS) was used in the joint demonstration to orchestrate applications, databases and services.

“Ubuntu is the primary platform for the cloud – public, private or hybrid,” aid Christian Reis, vice president of Hyperscale at Canonical. “Working with Applied Micro, we have delivered to the ARM ecosystem the ability to orchestrate server workloads at scale. X-Gene and Ubuntu provide a perfect platform for companies considering hyperscale deployments: outstanding performance, disruptive economics and fully automated management.”

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About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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