|By Maureen O'Gara||
|February 18, 2013 07:45 AM EST||
Something very exciting and provocative just happened to ARM and its server wannabe Calxeda.
Univa, which can claim sprawling infrastructures, has ported its Grid Engine software to the Calxeda widgetry in support of its fancy high-brow dynamic workloads.
The stuff is in beta but Univa CEO Gary Tyreman says his customers are already testing it and that although the ARM chip is only 32-bit it can be used in production for integer apps, even Hadoop and protein folding, ahead of the eventual advent of the promised 64-bit ARM chip that will probably be out next year.
They are trying to get ahead of the market, he says. They want to explore its potential and see what apps run best on the stuff.
It took all of four day for Univa's VP of engineering, working part-time, so maybe it was more like three days, Gary said, to port Univa's widgetry because Calxeda had done so much work with Linux. Univa used Debian and hooked into Calxeda's systems remotely.
"Large enterprise users have become increasingly interested in using ARM-based chips in the data center as the focus shifts from performance to making their servers more energy efficient," Univa CTO Fritz Ferstl said in a statement.
"ARM-based servers support multiple use cases in the modern data center as part of a larger trend toward matching the server hardware to the workload."
The Univa Grid Engine, which supports Big Data and computational infrastructures, automates the placement of dynamic workloads across architectures from Intel x86-64, Intel Xeon Phi, Nvidia GPGPUs and now ARM's low-power and energy-efficient resources.
An oil and gas company is currently putting in a 120,000-core system.
Calxeda marketing VP Karl Freund is sure ARM will continue to push into the data center server market in support of mobile and cloud computing, which is exactly what Intel is afraid of.
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