Archive

Posts Tagged ‘fedora’

Dedicated Hosting Services on ARM Development Boards (Cubieboard2, Raspberry Pi, ODROID…)

March 12th, 2014 11 comments

At least two companies have recently launched hosting services using dedicated ARM servers based on low cost development boards: NanoXion with its NX-BOX service powered by PiBox (Raspberry Pi) and CubieBox (Cubieboard 2) microservers, and miniNodes with servers based on Cubieboard2 first, then ODROID development boards, and possibly AllWinner OptimusBoard once/if it becomes available.

PiBox Dedicated Server

PiBox Dedicated Server

The PiBox will feature a Raspberry Pi Model B with 512 MB RAM, and 16GB Class 10 UHS-1 microSD card by Samsung, and the dual core Cubiebox comes with 1GB RAM and a Crucial M500 SATA III 120GB SSD. Both NX-BOXes run Linux Debian Server NX distribution, support instant remote reboot, with guaranteed 10 Mbps connectivity for IPv4 & IPv6, and unlimited bandwidth. The boards are all hosted in France.

The company expects their ARM servers to be used as private cloud servers, backup servers, private chat servers, web servers, mail servers, DNS Servers, monitoring servers, and well as some other proprietary solutions their customers may come up with.

Pricing starts at 7.19 Euros per month for the PiBox, 11.18 Euros per month for the Cubiebox, including an IPv6 address, and the service requires a commitment of one year.

miniNodes, which is US based, has just started yesterday to offer Cubieboard2 dedicated server for early adopters and enthusiasts. Cubieboard 2 features a dual core AllWinner A20 SoC @1.0 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, and 4 GB NAND that runs Ubuntu Server 13.04. There does not appear to have any external storage in their microservers at this stage, and bandwidth information is not available. The only option is currently hosting costs $19 US per month, but once they officially launch they’ll offer options to purchase clusters with up to 25 Cubieboard2 and more choices for the OS (Ubuntu or Fedora). If everything goes according to plan quad core hardkernel ODROID boards will be added to the line-up soon, and Allwinner Optimus Board powered by AllWinner A80 octa-core processor might also be considered.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Linaro Connect Asia 2014 Opening Keynote – Status and Future of ARMv8 Linux & Android [Video]

March 3rd, 2014 No comments

Linaro Connect Asia 2014 has just started in Macau today and will take place until Friday. You can follow the sessions live and/or their recordings via Linaro OnAir YouTube Channel. I’ve watched the opening keynote, and embedded the video at the bottom of this post. The keynote focuses on ARMv8 for Linux and Android on servers, mobile devices, digital home, and more, and involves two main speakers: George Grey, Linaro CEO , and Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architecture at Red Hat.

Linaro_Connected_Asia_2014

The speaker beginning of the video provides some practical information and the schedule for Linaro Connect. The keynote itself really starts around 15:50 with George Grey who spends the first 10 minutes introducing the latest Linaro members: Qualcomm, Mediatek, ZTE, AllWinner and Comcast. He then talks about the new Mobile sub-committee (MOBSCOM) that will focus on big.LITTLE, Android optimization and Android on ARMv8, as well as the soon-to-be-announced Linaro Digital Home Group composed of AllWinner, ARM, Comcast, Fujitsu, HiSilicon, and STMicro, that will work on STB / IPTV software implementation such as secure media playback. A large part of the talk is about boot architecture (ACPI, UEFI, ARM Trusted firmware…), and the debates ACPI vs FDT (Device Tree), U-boot vs UEFI, and so on. Other subjects discussed are ARM security with the recently formed Security Working Group, Virtualization, Middleware working on Aarch64 (LAMP and OpenJDK) and Android on 64-bit. The latter will require a lot more work, and actual hardware for validation of the work done on ARMv8 fast models, and to speed up code development. Finally he quickly mentions Linaro is still working on ARMv7 architecture, and preliminary work is done for Cortex-M with Yocto/OpenEmbedded support.

At the 50 minutes mark, Jon Masters takes over to talk about 64-bit ARM servers. He stresses several key points for ARM to be successful in the server market:

  1. Upstream first (to kernel.org), as Red Hat will only use code from mainline for servers
  2. Single binary required
  3. Must follow standards (SBSA, ACPI, UEFI…)
  4. Default to open (source and communication)

He explains that compared to last year hardware is now available, talks about hyperscale computing, and mention the “up to 25% market share for ARM servers in 2019″ quote from AMD. He explains there are challenges however, and the server market is much different from the embedded world, so CENH (Cute Embedded Nonsense Hacks) are not allowed for ARM servers. Long term (10+ years) support for toolchain and kernel are needed, with backports if necessary, and Fedora/Red Hat will never ever release an OS with a device tree file and/or U-Boot.

Finally he announces a Red Hat ARM Server Developer Preview will be released later this year, compliant with SBSA, and using UEFI and ACPI, and show demo running on Applied Micro X-gene Mustang board running an early version of the developer preview which boots with UEFI, and supports ACPI.

Watch the full keynote below for details (1h30).

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Applied Micro X-Gene X-C1 ARMv8 Server Development Board is Now Available for Pre-order

February 15th, 2014 19 comments

Applied Micro X-Gene is the very first processor to use ARM 64-bit architecture (ARMv8), not Cortex A53 or Cortex A57, but a custom implementation, and last year we’ve seen the company’s ARMv8 development board running 4 Linux virtual machines via KVM. The platform, called X-Gene X-C1, can now be pre-ordered to develop private cloud, public cloud, and enterprise applications.

Applied Micro X-C1 64-Bit ARM Server Development Platform

Applied Micro X-C1 64-Bit ARM Server Development Platform

There’s limited public information for now, but I could derive specifications from a few places on the web and available pictures:

  • SoC – Applied Micro X-Gene eight core ARMv8 processor @ 2+GHz
  • System Memory – 2x DDR3 memory slots
  • Storage – 4x SATA 2/3 ports + SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 3x 10 Gb Ethernet ports
  • USB – 2x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, 1x mini USB port
  • Expansion – PCIe Gen 3
  • Monitoring  DB9 Serial port
  • Power – ATX

I don’t know what’s the metallic connector with holes between the two Ethernet ports connector and two USB 3.0 + Ethernet ports connector. Anybody knows? [Update: According to comments below, it could be an SPF or SPF+ slot. (enhanced small form-factor pluggable)]

Applied_Micro_X-C1

The development platform will be delivered with the following software tools and stacks:

  • Comprehensive Software Development Kit for software development and evaluation of the AppliedMicro X-Gene Family of products
  • Quick start with OS, Boot Loader and Application Development
  • Full customization and performance evaluation out of the box
  • Full source code, binaries and tool chain provided
  • Support for all the hardware features and accelerators within X-Gene
  • Server based applications like LAMP and OpenStack out of the box Documentation

To find detailed information about the server development platform (hardware and software), you’ll need to register, and wait for approval. I’ve done that and waiting. I may be able to share information if I get approved, as the terms and conditions restrict redistribution of information, at least that’s what the automatic email says…

There’s a little bit information about software support in a presentation by Jon Masters, Red Hat’s chief ARM architect, at LISA (Large Installation System Adminitration conference) 2013, at the end of November of last year. At the time, X-C1 was running Fedora 19 Remix and only supported Aarch64, not Aarch32 (32-bit ARM), with over 12,000 packages available including LAMP stack, and GlusterFS.

After registration, and manual approval, you can get more information and pre-order the development board on https://myxgene.apm.com/ which happens to be hosted on the X-C1 development board. There’s no mention of the price on Applied Micro website, but Legit Reviews checked out the board at ARM Techcon 2013, and was told it would cost $5,000 and be available in Q1 2014.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

AMD Opteron A1100 Server SoCs Feature 4 to 8 ARM Cortex A57 Cores

January 29th, 2014 9 comments

A few months ago, AMD published a roadmap showing AMD “Seattle” Server CPUs based on ARMv8 64-bit architecture were planned for H2 Q2014. The company has now announced the first series of processors that will be based on ARM Cortex A57: AMD Opteron A1100 Series, as well as the corresponding development platform at the Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, California.

AMD_Opteron_1100Key features of AMD Opteron A1100 Series processors:

  • 4 or 8 core ARM Corte-A57 processors
  • Up to 4 MB of shared L2 and 8 MB of shared L3 cache
  • Configurable dual DDR3 or DDR4 memory channels with ECC at up to 1866 MT/second
  • Up to 4 SODIMM, UDIMM or RDIMMs
  • 8x lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 I/O
  • 8x Serial ATA 3 ports
  • 2x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • ARM TrustZone technology for enhanced security
  • Crypto and data compression co-processors

On the software side, the company mentionned it is a member of the Linux Foundation and Linaro, and that several operating systems vendors including Canonical, Red Hat and SUSE are committed to support ARMv8, and virtualization will be enabled through KVM and Xen. You’ll be able to program in Java via Orable OpenJDK, as well as Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby. The GNU C compiler and corresponding C Library have already been ported to the 64-bit ARM architecture.

AMD_Opteron_A1110_Development_BoardAMD will also provide an Opteron A-Series development kit in a Micro-ATX form factor with the following specifications:

  • An AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor
  • 4 Registered DIMM slots for up to 128GB of DDR3 DRAM
  • PCI Express connectors configurable as a single x8 or dual x4 ports
  • 8 Serial-ATA connectors
  • Compatibility with standard power supplies
  • Ability to be used stand-alone or mounted in standard rack-mount chassis

The AMD Opteron A-Series development platform will run a standard UEFI bootloader, and a Linux environment based on the Fedora Project Linux distribution. Other tools and software packages include the GNU (cross) toolchain, platform device drivers, a full LAMP stack with Apache web server, MySQL database engine, and PHP, as well as Java 7 and Java 8.

Anandtech reports the development board will be available in March, and actual servers should be launched in Q4 2014. They’ve also mentioned the ARM solution should cost a tenth of the price of a competing high-end Xeon box, and AMD expects ARM based processors to make up about 25% of the server market in 2019.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Cisco Edge 340 Digital Media Player Targets Digital Signage & Business Applications

January 22nd, 2014 6 comments

Most of the time I feature low cost (Chinese) media players in this blog, but today I’ve had a look at a media player at the other side of the market that targets business users with applications such as webcasting and video sharing, digital signage, and business IPTV. Cisco Edge 340 digital media player (DMP) comes in two flavors “Wireless” and “non-wireless”, and boast features such as PoE or RS-232 which are not often found in consumer devices.
Cisco_Edge_340_Digital_Media_PlayerCisco Edge 340 Specifications:

  • SoC – Dual 1.60 GHz processor with integrated GPU @ 400MHz, most probably Intel Atom Z2560. It turns out it could be Intel Atom CE5335 instead.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 @ 800 MHz
  • Storage – 32GB SSD (70MB/s write speed) and SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 1x Ethernet 10/100/1000-Gbps port with PoE and PoE+ support. Wireless version only: Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 1.3a, 1x 1 VGA port, dual-display support, single touch and multi-touch screens support.
  • HD Video – MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, H.264, and VC-1 hardware decoding, Up to two simultaneous HD video streams.
  • Audio – 1x audio-in and 1x audio-out port (3.5mm jack)
  • USB – 4x USB ports
  • Misc -  1x RS-232 (DB-9) port, 1x infrared extender port, 1x console port (RJ45), Kensington safety lock, factory mode and power buttons, as well as Bluetooth, HDD, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet LEDs.
  • Power Supply – 12V/3A
  • Power Consumption – Typical: 11W
  • Dimensions – 244 x 186 x 35 mm

Cisco_Edge_340_Description
Cisco digital signage player runs Fedora 16 with Linux kernel version 3.1, and includes VLC for video playback, as well as Chrome 26.0 and Firefox 18.0 browsers which can support most web content, including video, audio, RSS feeds, text, rolling banners, Adobe Flash animations, and HTML5.

The device can be management via Local CLI (CLISH), a Web GUI, and HTTP API , and the company provides a 200-pages Software Configuration Guide to do so. SNMP is also supported for remote monitoring.

Further information is available on Cisco Edge 340 page.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Fedora 20 “Heisenbug” Release Makes ARM a Primary Architecture

December 18th, 2013 3 comments

Fedora_logoFedora has been supporting ARM architecture for a while now, but it was only as a secondary architecture without official support. With the recent Fedora 20 release, nicknamed “Heisenbug”, the ARM architecture, more exactly ARMv7 hard float and greater, is promoted to a primary architecture meaning ARMv7 will have the same status as x86 and x86_64 architectures with packages officially build and supported by the Fedora community.

What it does not mean however, due to the nature of ARM architecture, is that you can simply download an ISO to install on any ARM platforms, like you would do on an Intel or AMD computer. It’s a little more complicated than that, as it is platform specific, but instructions are available for the Beaglebone Black, Compulab Trimslice, the Wandboard, Calxeda Energycore Midway and Highbank, and Versatile Express in QEMU.

You can download images with MATE, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, SOAS desktops, as well as a minimal image without desktop environment @ http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/20/Images/armhfp/

Fedora 20 for ARM includes two types of images:

  • For platforms requiring a VFAT partition – include VFAT in the file name.
  • For platforms that can boot from an EXT3/4 partition

Now all methods includes booting from an external media, usually a (micro) SD card, and network boot is also available.

Beside promotion ARM as a primary, there were also other noticeable features in the release:

  • Cloud and Virtualization Improvements

    • First-Class Cloud Images – Developed by the Fedora Cloud SIG, these images are well-suited to running as guests in public and private clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OpenStack.
    • VM Snapshot UI with virt-manager – This feature makes taking VM snapshots much easier, by adding a simple, discoverable UI to virt-manager, and includes adding functionality to libvirt to support deleting and rebasing to external snapshots.
    • ARM on x86 with libvirt/virt-manager – This change to Fedora 20 fixes running ARM virtual machines on x86 hosts using standard libvirt tools libvirt virsh, virt-manager and virt-install.
  • Developer Features

    • WildFly 8 – Previously known as JBoss Application Server, WildFly 8 makes it possible to run Java EE 7 applications with significantly higher speed.
    • Ruby on Rails 4.0
  • Desktop Improvements

    • GNOME 3.10 – Includes a new music application (gnome-music), a new maps application (gnome-maps), a revamp for the system status menu, and Zimbra support in Evolution.
    • KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.11 – Includes faster Nepomuk indexing, improvements to Kontact, KScreen integration in KWin, Metalink/HTTP support for KGet, and much more.
  • Maturity and Advanced Features

    • NetworkManager Improvements – Users will now be able to add, edit, delete, activate, and deactivate network connections via the nmcli command line tool, simplifying non-desktop uses of Fedora. NetworkManager is also getting support for bonding interfaces and bridging interfaces.
    • No Default Sendmail, Syslog – Fedora 20 removes the former syslog solution, which is now replaced by systemd journal. Additionally, Sendmail will no longer be installed by default, as typical Fedora installs have no need of a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA).

You can find more details on Fedora 20 release notes.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

ARM Based Servers and Servers-on-a-Chip (SoCs) at ARM Techcon 2013

November 5th, 2013 2 comments

ARM Techcon 2013 took place on October 29 – 31, 2013, in Santa Clara, and several companies announced servers, or chips for server based on ARM technology. None of those are for home used, but for now ARM based servers target enterprise and cloud data. Yet end users may them indirectly when they access social networks such as Facebook, or other online services such as Paypal.

Calxeda ECX-2000 SoC

After their ECX-1000 quad core Cortex A9 Server-on-chip, Calxeda has announced ECX-2000 SoC featuring four Cortex A15 cores. The new SoC provides about twice the performance, 3 times the memory bandwidth, and 4 times the memory capacity (up to 16GB RAM) of the earlier chip.  

Calxeda ECX-2000

Calxeda ECX-2000

One of the key advantage of Cortex A15 over Cortex A9 is hardware virtualization that allows support for KVM and Xen hypervisors. ECX-2000 is supported in Canonical Ubuntu Linux 13.10 and can run Havana Openstack.

Other key features include:

  • On-chip Fabric Switch connects SoCs through low-latency 10Gb links
  • On-chip Management Engine provides out-of-band systems management capabilities while simultaneously governing power policies and optimizing network fabric routing
  • Integrated high-performance interfaces such as memory controllers with full ECC support and I/O subsystems for local SATA 2.0 ports and PCIe 2.0 support

ECX-2000 series SoC will be used in efficient data centers, web server farms, mid-tier application servers, content distribution networks, cloud storage, and emerging “Big Data” analytics.

Further information, including a product brief with detailed specs, is available from Calxeda ECX-2000 page. The company is also working on two SoC based on Cortex A57 that will be sampling in Q1 2014 and be mass produced at the end of 2014. One of them will be pin-to-pin compatible with ECX-1000 and ECX-2000, and the other more powerful.

Cavium Demonstration of Project Thunder ARMv8 SoC in Ubuntu 13.10

Cavium_Project_ThunderCavium has recently announced that Cavium’s Thunder ARMv8 processors are supported in Ubuntu 13.10, and both companies hosted private demonstrations of the Ubuntu Server 13.10 running on Cavium’s Thunder software development platform at ARM TechCon 2013. There’s no silicon yet, so this was done in a simulator (the development platform), but Ubuntu 13.10’s ARMv8 developer preview can be accessed now, and developers can start using, developing and testing for Cavium’s Thunder multicore ARMv8 processors before the Silicon is ready.

The company also unveiled that the Thunder developer platform with Ubuntu Server 13.10 will be available in HP’s Moonshot Discovery Lab to offer developers a head-start on porting, developing and testing on future cloud centric servers.

There does not seem to be much information about Project Thunder features and specifications at this time, but it should eventually become available on Project Thunder page.

Dell Microserver powered by Applied Micro XGene ARMv8 SoC

Dell demonstrated a 64-bit ARM server running Fedora 19, and powered by Applied Micro XGene 8-core SoC coupled with Dell Powervault MD1220 attached storage and a PMC SAS/SATA host bus adapter.

A desktop PC stream a movie from the server, and shows usage statistics of the server. You can watch a short demo below.

ARM Servers in Hewlett Packard Moonshot

HP_MoonshotHP had a keynote (About 50 minutes) at ARM Techcon 2013, where Martin Fink, CTO and Director, HP Labs, explained how IT changes over the years, HP solutions, and how ARM based server cartridges used in HP Moonshot can help.

Moonshot platform is composed of low power servers that share management, power, cooling, networking, and storage. Compared to traditional servers, HP claims the platform is capable of consuming up to 89% less energy, takes up to 80% less space, costs 77% less, and is 97% less complex (whatever that means).

There are 3 cartridges based on ARM Technology in HP Discovery Labs:

  • Based on Calxeda EXC-1000 for cloud apps – mobile, social and big Data
  • Based on Texas Instruments Keystone II (ARM Cortex A15 cores + DSPs) for apps such as VoIP, and seismic processing.
  • Based on Applied Micro XGene (8 ARMv8 cores) for 64-bit software support.

Moonshot_Calxeda_TI_Applied_Micro

These ARM based cartridges should be available next year.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter