May 292012

Dell today announced it is responding to the demands of our customers for continued innovation in support of hyperscale environments, and enabling the ecosystem for ARM-based servers. The ARM-based server market is approaching an inflection point, marked by increasing customer interest in testing and developing applications, and Dell believes now is the right time to help foster development and testing of operating systems and applications for ARM servers.

Dell is recognized as an industry leader in both the x86 architecture and the hyperscale server market segments. Dell began testing ARM server technology internally in 2010 in response to increasing customer demands for density and power efficiency, and worked closely with select Dell Data Center Solutions (DCS) hyperscale customers to understand their interest level and expectations for ARM-based servers.

Dell believes ARM infrastructures demonstrate promise for web front-end and Hadoop environments, where advantages in performance per dollar and performance per watt are critical. The ARM server ecosystem is still developing, and largely available in open-source, non-production versions, and the current focus is on supporting development of that ecosystem. Dell has designed its programs to support today’s market realities by providing lightweight, high-performance seed units and easy remote access to development clusters.

Dell offers the Copper-ARM server to a select number of clients and cloud-called ‘Big data’ applications for such servers with lightweight processors to develop and test. It is expected that the demand for ARM servers really gets off the ground as the first products based on ARM’s ARMv8 architecture with 64bit instruction appear.

Copper is provided by Canonical Ubuntu 4.12 LTS operating system and Dell does include the crowbar-open source management software and an ARM version of Apache Hadoop software for analyzing large amounts of distributed data.

In addition, other manufacturers have Dell server solutions based on ARM CPUs announced. So late last year, HP has a server with 288 ARM quad cores announced , while firms like Dell Calxeda a server with 48 quad cores ARM demonstrated it.

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