Subject: Systems | April 19, 2013 - 03:56 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: servers, project moonshot, microserver, hp, arm, Applied Micro Circuits, 64-bit
A recent press release from AppliedMicro (Applied Micro Circuits Corporation) announced that the company’s X-Gene server on a chip technology would be used in an upcoming HP Project Moonshot server.
An HP Moonshot server (expect the X-Gene version to be at least slightly different).
The X-Gene is a 64-bit ARM SoC that combines ARM processing cores with networking and storage offload engines as well as a high-speed interconnect networking fabric. AppliedMicro designed the chip to provide ARM-powered servers that will reportedly reduce the Total Cost of Ownership of running webservers in a data center by reducing upfront hardware and ongoing electrical costs.
The X-Gene chips that will appear in HP’s Project Moonshot servers feature a SoC with eight AppliedMicro-designed 64-bit ARMv8 cores clocked at 2.4GHz, four ARM Cortex A5 cores for running the Software Defined Network (SDN) controller, and support for storage IO, PCI-E IO, and integrated Ethernet (four 10Gb Ethernet links). The X-Gene chips are located on card-like daughter cards that slot into a carrier board that has networking fabric to connect all the X-Gene cards (and the SoCs on those cards). Currently, servers using X-Gene SoCs require a hardware switch to connect all of the X-Gene cards in a rack. However, the next-generation 28nm X-Gene chips will eliminate the need for a rack-level hardware switch as well as featuring 100Gb networking links).
The X-Gene chips in HP Project Moonshot will use relatively little power compared to Xeon-based solutions. AppliedMicro has stated that eh X-Gene chips will be at least two-times as power efficient, but has not officially release power consumption numbers for the X-Gene chips under load. However, at idle the X-Gene SoCs will use as little as 500mW and 300mW of power at idle and standby (sleep mode) respectively. The 64-bit quad issue, Out of Order Execution chips are some of the most-powerful ARM processors to date, though they will soon be joined by ARM’s own 64-bit design(s). I think the X-Gene chips are intriquing, and I am excited to see how well they fare in the data center environment running server applications. ARM has handily taken over the mobile space, but it is still relatively new in the server world. Even so, the 64-bit ARM chips by AppliedMicro (X-Gene) and others are the first step towards ARM being a viable option for servers.
According to AppliedMicro, HP Project Moonshot servers with X-Gene SoCs will be available later this year. You can find the press blast below.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 19, 2013 - 06:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: GTC 2013, tyan, HPC, servers, tesla, kepler, nvidia
Server platform manufacturer TYAN is showing off several of its latest servers aimed at the high performance computing (HPC) market. The new servers range in size from 2U to 4U chassis and hold up to 8 Kepler-based Tesla accelerator cards. The new product lineup consists of two motherboards and three bare-bones systems. The S7055 and S7056 are the motherboards while the FT77-B7059, TA77-B7061, and FT48-B7055.
The TA77-B7061 is the smallest system, with support for two Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors and four Kepler-based Tesla accelerator cards. The FT48-B7055 has si7056 specifications but is housed in a 4U chassis. Finally, the FT77-B7059 is a 4U system with support for two Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors, and up to eight Tesla accelerator cards. The S7055 supports a maximum of 4 GPUs while the S7056 can support two Tesla cards, though these are bare boards so you will have to supply your own cards, processors, and RAM (of course).
According to TYAN, the new Kepler-based HPC systems will be available in Q2 2013, though there is no word on pricing yet.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for further GTC 2013 Coverage!
Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2013 - 07:31 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: servers, facebook, exabyte, data centers, cold storage, cloud computing
Facebook is planning to construct a new cold storage facility to house archived and less-frequently-used media files. The new data center will reside in a new 62,000 sq. ft. building on the company's existing 127-acre property in Prineview, Oregon.
As cold storage, the data center will house servers with up to 3 Exabytes of total data capacity. The machines will be in a sleep state the majority of the time, but will be automatically turned on to serve up media files when accessed on the social network. Because the servers are normally in a lower-power sleep state, there will be a slight delay when users request files. According to Oregon Live, Facebook has stated that the delay will be as much as a couple of seconds and as little as several milliseconds.
The new cold storage facility will enable Facebook to save a great deal on electrical usage and hardware wear and tear (though primarily power bill savings). The company claims that its users upload 350 million photos each day, but that 82% of the social networking site's traffic focuses on a mere 8% of available photos.
Err, not quite the cold storage Facebook has in mind...
Considering Facebook's existing Prineview data center used a whopping 71 million Kilowatts of power in the first 9 months, moving to a new cold storage system for infrequently accessed files is an excellent idea. The photos will still be available, but Facebook will save big on the power bill--a fair compromise for retaining all of those lolcat and meme photos, i think.
The new data center will be rolled out in three phases, each measuring 16,000 sq. ft. in the Prineview facility. The first phase of cold storage servers should be up and running by Q4 2013. There is no estimate on the power savings, but it will be interesting to see how beneficial it will be--and whether other cloud service providers will adopt similar policies.
Also read: Amazon Glacier offers cheap long-term storage.
Subject: Processors | December 5, 2012 - 02:58 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: servers, opteron 4300, opteron 3300, opteron, amd
AMD has officially released a number of new server processors based on its latest Piledriver cores. The new Opteron 4300 and Opteron 3300 series processors will replace the 4200 and 3200 series, and are aimed at the server market. The 4300 series uses Socket C32 while the Opteron 3300 processors use socket AM3+. They are significantly cheaper Piledriver-based parts than the higher-end Opteron 6300 series processors. AMD is aiming these lower cost Opterons at servers hosting websites and internal applications for small to medium businesses.
There are a total of nine new Opteron processors, with three being 3300 series an six being 4300 series. Both the 3300 and 4300 series Opterons are socket compatible with the previous generation 3200 and 4200 series respectively, allowing for an upgrade path in existing servers. According to AMD, the new Piledriver-based processors have 24% higher performance per watt and use 15% less power than the previous generation parts based on the SPECpower and SPECint benchmarks. AMD is also touting support for low power 1.25V memory with the new chips.
The chart below details the specifications and pricing all of the new Opteron parts.
The new AMD Opteron 3300 series includes two quad core and one eight core processor. The parts range from 1.9GHz to 2.6GHz base and have TDPs from 25W to 65W for the lowest and top end parts respectively. AMD-P, AMD-V, and AMD Turbo Core technologies are also supported. As far as memory goes, the 3300 series supports up to four DIMMs and 32GB per CPU. Further, a single x16 HyperTransport 3.0 link rated at 5.2GT/s is included.
Moving up to the 4300 series comes with an increase in price but you also get more cores, more memory, and faster clockspeeds. The Opteron 4300 series has one quad core 4310 EE, three six core CPUs, and two eight core parts. Base clocks range from 2.2GHz to 3.1GHz while boost clocks start at 3.0GHz and go to 3.8GHz. On the low end, the Opteron 4310 EE has a 35W TDP and the top-end 4386 has a 95W TDP. The 4300 series supports dual channel DDR3 1866 memory with up to six DIMMs and 192GB per CPU. Moving up from the 3300 series also gets you two x16 HyperTransport 3.0 links at 6.4 GT/s.
The new server processors are available now with prices ranging from $174 to $501. In addition, pre-built server options from Supermicro and Seamicro (SM15000) are currently available, with options from Dell and a number of other companies on the way. The prices seem decent, and these chips could make the base for a nice 2P server that brings you Piledriver improvements for much less than the relatively expensive 6300 series processors that we covered previously.
Subject: General Tech | November 7, 2012 - 11:51 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: servers, linux foundation, linux, hp, hardware
The Linux Foundation announced today that PC OEM Hewlett-Packard (HP) is upgrading its membership status to Platinum – highest level of membership. HP joins Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm Innovation Center, and Samsung.
As a Platinum member, HP will have a seat on the Linux Foundation’s Board of Directors and will be able to influence the future direction of the organization. Reportedly, the OEM is making Linux a priority and is looking to further integrate the open source software into its hardware offerings. For $500,000 a year, HP will also be given priority at events like LinuxCon. HP's branding will also be on the Linux Foundation site and as sponsors at any events.
According to Jim Zemlin, the executive director of The Linux Foundation:
“With one of the richest and most recognized stories in technology, HP has a history of innovation and market success. Because of this history and innate knowledge of software development, HP understands that Linux and collaborative development can benefit its business across its product portfolio. We’re looking forward to the work we can accomplish with HP.”
It is certainly an interesting move, and hopefully one that means HP wants to commit more to the direction of Linx and its adoption on HP hardware. You can find the full press release on the Linux Foundation's website.
Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2011 - 12:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xeon e5, xeon, servers, opteron, knights ferry, knights corner, interlagos, hp, dell, bulldozer, acer
As you would expect, no sooner does AMD release news on its new line of Bulldozer era Opterons, Intel follows suit with news on their next generation of server chips. AMD hit the news and the server room first thanks to interest shown by Dell, HP and Acer. These vendors have based a series of 2U servers on AMD's new chip as well as a family of blade servers. Dell's Poweredge C6145 was probably the most ambitious, with 4 sockets you can have 128 cores and 1TB of DDR3 in a 2U rack mount server and FusionIO was suggesting the inclusion of their 1.2TB Iodrive Duo card to ensure your storage media can keep up.
Intel also spoke with The Inquirer and other news sites about their new Xeon E5 processor family as well as providing more information about Knights Bridge. Intel has reached out to a different set of clients for the new Xeon, focusing on NVIDIA's latest target market of High Performance Computing (that HPC acronym you see hanging around Fermi). They tout over 10,000 chips sold, some of which are sitting pretty in the TOP500. Also on display was their Knights Ferry accelerator board, again targeted for the HPC crowd that NVIDIA has been courting.
So this processor generation we have Intel and NVIDIA fighting it out for HPC customers, while AMD seems to be without major competition in high density computing, although ARM has certainly been making inroads into that market.
"AMD's partners have shown a small but impressive array of Bulldozer Opteron kit. Dell's 2U eight socket beast was arguably the most impressive of the lot on show in Munich, but AMD will know it needs more than just one vendor in its fight against Intel. Thankfully it has the might of HP also showing that its traditional rackmount and blade servers can make use of AMD's Bulldozer silicon."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD kills Wichita and Krishna @ SemiAccurate
- Canada CRTC Rules Against Usage Based Billing @ Slashdot
- CarrierIQ: Most Phones Ship With "Rootkit" @ Slashdot
- Google will ignore your Wi-Fi router ... if you rename it @ The Register
- Making aerogel at home @ Hack a Day
- HP unveils business ultrabook @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft moving embedded systems to Windows 8 @ The Register
- Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS Review @ TechReviewSource
- Griffin Helo TC RC Helicopter Review @ TechwareLabs
- TechSpot Holiday Gift Guide 2011
- The Antec Giveaways: Part 1 @ AnandTech
- Real World Labs And Cooler Master Joint Contest
Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2011 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, hp, servers, Calexda, MIPS, Godson
There have been many discussions as of late on the eventual arrival of ARM in the server room, with AMD and Intel suffering the losses. A company called Calexda has made the possibility into reality with their own custom designed ARM chips. They figure on cramming 120 of the processors into a 2U box with incredibly low power draw; in the neighbourhood of a 90% reduction. AMD's customers may stay with an architecture that they know, however Intel stands to lose power conscious customers if Calexda can provide performance and compatibility. SemiAccurate also touches on Lenovo's investigation of building servers based on a MIPS design called Godson.
"According to a report from Bloomberg News Service HP (NYSE:HPQ) will start manufacturing servers based on the ARM architecture in a sharp departure from its previous Intel-only design philosophy.
The processors for the HP servers will come from the startup Caxeda, which is partly owned by ARM. Caxeda is planning a quadcore processor based on the ARM Cortex-A9 design."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Now pictures on the Internet can be faked @ Hack a Day
- Inside Google Plus @ Wired
- Official "Firefox With Bing" Released @ Slashdot
- Youtube will launch its own video channels @ The Inquirer
- Asustek, Gigabyte to miss motherboard shipment targets for 2011 @ DigiTimes
- Avira anti-virus labels itself as spyware @ The Register
- Linux 3.1 Enhances Sandy Bridge, Preps For Ivy Bridge @ Phoronix
- Hybrid PhysX Mod 1.05ff @ NGOHQ
- Final BlizzCon 2011 Coverage @ Legit Reviews
- Real World Labs And Sandberg Joint Contest
Subject: General Tech | June 15, 2011 - 12:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: servers, calxeda, arm
ARM has assembled their own Super Best Friends in a team lead by Calxeda, and composed of Autonomic Resources, Canonical, Caringo, Couchbase, Datastax, Eucalyptus Systems, Gluster, Momentum SI, Opscode, and Pervasive. This places Ubuntu as the ARM OS of choice for the server room and as it includes companies developing applications for running Cloud services, not only Microsoft should be paying attention; applications like Amazon's EC2 could face new competition as well.
Calexda's current reference machines pack 120 server nodes with 480 cores in a 2U chassis, a density which even a 1W Atom is going to find hard to match and the 1W Atoms are still a ways away. They are planning on getting the machines out to clients for testing by the end of the year, Intel's time table is nowhere near that tight. Read more about the low powered battle for dominance at The Register.
"With Intel's top brass bad-mouthing ARM-based servers, upstart server chip maker Calxeda can't let Intel do all the talking. It has to put together an ecosystem of hardware and software partners who believe there's a place for a low-power, 32-bit ARM-based server platform in the data center."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ARM Fellow takes the mic at AMD event @ The Tech Report
- AMD demos Trinity laptop @ SemiAccurate
- Epson WorkForce 60 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Chameleon WiGig gains momentum @ The Register
- Having fun with Microsoft Windows @ t-break
- Microsoft squeaks on Google Nortel sale @ The Register
- A tour of Zotac's Dongguan factory @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2011 - 12:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: servers, cortex, arm
We have been hearing of a little something called Project Denver that ARM has been working on, which they claim will have them selling chips to the server market. The new Cortex A15 will be a 32bit chip with 40bit physical addressing, and multiple cores capable of reaching 2.5GHz, all while using the same amount of power as the previous Cortex A9 generation. Maybe Intel and AMD do have something to worry about. Drop by The Register for more.
"ARM Holdings' high-performance, low-power Cortex-A15 processor design will appear in products in late 2012 or early 2013, when it will begin to muscle in on territory long dominated by Intel's x86 architecture."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mozilla slips SpiderMonkey into Dev Platform of the Future @ The Inquirer
- PlayBook won't play nice with BlackBerries on AT&T @ The Register
- Sandisk and Toshiba announce 19nm NAND flash memory @ The Inquirer
- Cyberlink PowerDVD 11 Blu-ray Software Review @ MissingRemote
- t-break podcast - episode 13
- SageTV HD300 Theater Media Player Giveaway @MissingRemote