Creating an Open Data Center With 64-bit ARM Technology

Ed. Note: This post was authored by Ramesh Radhakrishnan, Ph.D., Senior Principal Engineer/Technologist in the Office of CTO, Dell.

Right sized compute is quickly emerging as a holistic solution to systems design. At the forefront of this new approach stands a huge opportunity for data center applications and the ARM ecosystem. As more workloads shift to the cloud and are only accessed on-demand, designing for low-power and maximizing returns is becoming ever more important. When we couple this with the open technology currently disrupting data centers, the ARM community has a great opportunity on its hands.

We are only at the early stages of simultaneously unleashing these two trends, but how do we continue to leverage server manufacturers, data center operators and developers in the ARM ecosystem to achieve adoption rates enjoyed by x86 applications?

At Dell, for instance, we are focused on enabling an open ecosystem to speed innovation by offering the best solutions to serve customers’ unique business needs. We have long-standing relationships to cover a wide spectrum of data center services with open technologies, from operating systems (Red Hat) to, of course, ARM servers.

Open technology communities have long been proven to foster innovation while increasing adoption rates – and the ARM community certainly has a vibrant ecosystem judging by the discussions we are all having with customers around the use of ARM-based applications.

Moreover, the ARM community is full of other advantages to help advance its cause. The community members specialize in value-adding within the supply chain, allowing for rapid innovation. Additionally, ARM developers enjoy a large set of open-sourced software, like the ones offered through the Linaro license that offer these developers toolchains and software images for AArch64 (the 64-bit execution state of ARMv8).

So – the potential for 64-bit ARM technologies to enable open data centers and technologies is there, but how can this community help increase ARM applications adoption, particularly in the data center? Some of the ideas I plan on discussing at ARM TechCon to make this more of a reality include identifying opportunities within their data centers that can take advantage of the strength of ARM servers and how to quantify and compare it against their existing solutions to solve their compute requirements. As a proof point, EP Analytics will discuss their experiences using Copper and our 64-bit POC to develop open source tools for the HPC community and how ARM servers can change the HPC landscape where power-efficient compute is becoming critical as their compute requirements increases exponentially.

If you would like to learn more about how Dell is innovating ARM technology to enable open data center technologies, please stop by my session at ARM TechCon on Friday, Oct. 3 at 3:30p PT. In the interest of transparency and advancement of this community, both my presentation and the presentation from EP Analytics will be available on Dell’s SlideShare channel after Friday, October 3 for those who would like to learn more or are unable to join us at ARM TechCon.

Ramesh Radhakrishnan, Ph.D., is Senior Principal Engineer/Technologist in the Office of CTO at Dell. His interests are performance analysis and characterization of enterprise-level benchmarks. Ramesh has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

Sarah Vela

About the Author: Sarah Vela

Sarah Vela is no longer with Dell Technologies.