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25 October 2012, 11:19

Dell donates concept ARM server to the ASF

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Dell has donated an ARM-based concept server to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The company provided the server, which uses Calxeda's EnergyCore processor architecture, to the ASF so that it can test and optimise its software for ARM server deployment. The Apache web server, Hadoop and the Cassandra NoSQL database are of particular interest to Dell customers, according to the company.

ARM-based servers are a relatively new development and Dell's donation to the ASF provides the open source developers with a platform to build and test their software on. Calxeda first unveiled a server with its EnergyCore chips at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in May. The server concept, which Dell calls "Zinc", is being hosted by Calxeda in a data centre in Austin and the donation includes full technical support and maintenance. The server is already in use by the ASF and the developers have built versions of Apache Hadoop, Thrift, Derby, River and Tapestry on the architecture. The build services appear to be running a version of Ubuntu Server for ARM.

The Zinc concept runs EnergyCore EXC-1000 processors that are integrated with layer 2 networking switches on Calxeda's EnergyCard boards. Being a concept design, Zinc is not generally available for purchase, but Dell says it will "bring ARM servers to general availability at the appropriate time." By donating the server to the ASF, the company also receives valuable feedback on its implementation of the technology.


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