Friday, November 20, 2015

Looking For An Alternative To Intel? ARM Chips May Be That Answer

Remember how hard it was to get your hands on an ARM server? Well, those days may very well be behind us as five computer makers have announced servers with ARM processors. These new servers are direct competition to x86 systems in the mainstream market and are primarily designed for internet and cloud workloads. In addition to that, they also have the 48-core Cavium ThunderX chip, which is based on 64-bit ARM architecture.

The five companies making these servers are Gigabyte, Inventec, Wistron, Penguin Computing, and E4 Computer Engineering and these servers will be based on designs that are popular in x86 servers though they will have ARM processors. However, there is an even more interesting aspect to this and that is that some of the new servers will have the ability to use Nvidia's Tesla graphics processors, which adds extra processing power for graphics, engineering, and other computing applications that require high-performance.

All of the systems generally have one or two sockets and all of them have different strengths. Gigabyte's servers can be configured with up to 24 2.5" hard drives, which makes it perfect for web serving or storage. Penguin Computing's 19" Valkre system will be shipping in 2016 and is aimed at high-performance computing and has the ability to be configured with SSDs and different I/O technologies. Wistron's WV-S7224-10 and WV-A7424 are 2U and 4U storage servers. All of the servers, however, share power and cooling resources.

A majority of the companies announcing ARM servers are capable of making and supplying servers to buyers directly, which eliminates the middleman that is usually involved in the whole selling process. Companies like Wistron and Inventec are also capable of making an impact as server vendors in China whereas some of the other companies cannot. Pricing for the servers has yet to become available from any of the five companies though the servers themselves were announced at the Supercomputing 15 conference in Austin, Texas this past week.

ARM develops and licenses its processor architecture and is best known for its mobile chips found in most smartphones. A lot of people believe that the power efficiency that is derived from the mobile chips could very well translate to low-power ARM servers though as of now only a couple of systems have been made available. The most noteworthy system is the Moonshot from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

These new servers could be the motivation that ARM needs to make a serious push towards dominating the server market. Chip makers are having a very hard time generating profits with mobile and PC chips considering margins are thin for those systems. As a result, servers could be a very profitable alternative for vendors using ARM-architecture chips. AMD is planning on offering both x86-architecture and ARM-architecture chips as it continues to rebuild its server product line.

Content originally published here
Sharing this story on social media? Use these hashtags! #Servers #Intel #ARM #AMD

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oracle Made Huge Server Announcement At OpenWorld

Five years ago, when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, Larry Ellison talked a lot about how owning the entire systems stack would allow him to do unique things with the servers from Oracle. After five years of hearing the hype and the talk, Ellison looks like he may have finally delivered. However, the big question still remains whether or not consumers will actually buy what he's selling.

Oracle has announced a brand new line of servers at OpenWorld recently that are based on a new Sparc processor known as the M7. This upgrade has the typical improvements that you would expect in a new chip, including more cores, bigger caches, and higher bandwidth though the most interesting thing is software functions that Oracle has embedded into the silicon that improves the performance and security of applications. These include a memory-protection technology that is capable of providing a new level of security for in-memory databases along with an acceleration engine that allows data to be decompressed in near-real time for analytics. As a result, you get a wider use of compressed data.

According to Principal Analyst at Insight64 Nathan Brookwood, "Both of those are very interesting, because they're features I don't think a company that makes just chips -- that didn't have the software guys working with them -- would have invented." Brookwood has asked Oracle what new features it was able to include on each new processor the company has released as a result of owning both companies." Invariably they would say, well, you know, it takes time to do that, we don't really have anything yet," Brookwood added. "But with the M7, they do."

This is also the first new Sparc processor core designed entirely in-house by Oracle. It takes four to six years to design a new microprocessor, which has been the time frame that Oracle has owned Sun. "This is the first project that has Larry's fingerprints all over it," added Marshall Choy, Oracle Senior Director for Optimized Solutions. The M7 is currently on sale now and is in new models of Oracle's T-Series and M-Series servers along with an upgrade to the Oracle Supercluster, which is a pre-configured system for running the Oracle database.

The memory-protection technology, which is also known as "silicon-secured memory", prevents malicious programs from accessing parts of main memory that they're not used to, thus disposing of a common attack method for hackers. Whenever a new application needs new memory, the M7 creates a unique "color bit" which ensures the application can access only the portion of memory assigned to it. When the application process ends, the color bit expires and a new one is created for the next allocation of memory. "That's how we can prevent a piece of malware from accessing a memory segment it's not authorized to, because it will do that color code checking and abort the program if it doesn't match," Choy added.

This is particularly significant due to the fact that customers are storing large amounts of data in memory for analytics, where it is more susceptible to attacks. The secured memory technology will be available to any application that runs on the M7 systems, Choy said, and not just ones from Oracle. In addition to that, it is also capable of uncovering low-level bugs in software because it exposes any problems with memory allocation. For decompression, the accelerator in the chip will run at the full speed of Oracle's in-memory database. This means that customers will be able to use compressed data for in-memory computing without the performance overhead that they would normally have to deal with.

Oracle is offering the M7 chip in the T-Series servers, which are typically used for scale-out configurations, and in the M-Series servers, which scale up to form big SMP boxes. This is also the first time the company will use the same processor across both product lines and, according to Choy, "We literally have one chip. We have exactly on part number for the M7."

Content originally published here
Sharing this story on Social Media? Use these hashtags! #‎Oracle‬ ‪#‎OpenWorld‬ ‪#‎M7‬ ‪#‎Servers‬

Monday, October 26, 2015

OpenStack Are Now Being Put Into Docker Containers By Oracle

If you thought that OpenStack and Docker containers were competitive technologies then you thought wrong. In fact, the exact opposite is true as Oracle is now offering the very best proof yet in using Docker images as a mechanism to install an OpenStack cloud.

Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux Release 2 (that's a mouthful) is now available and gives users an interesting new way to benefit from Docker and OpenStack simultaneously. This new release is based on the OpenStack Kilo milestone that came out on October 15th. Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering at Oracle Wim Coekaerts has said that Oracle's goal is to provide a single release per year of OpenStack. "At this time, we see a release per year as a good mix between being current and being stable. Our first release was based on Icehouse, we skipped Juno, and picked up Kilo. We plan to skip Liberty and pick up a release after Liberty," Coekaerts stated.

He also stated that OpenStack releases are development releases similar to how the distributions from Linux acquire a specific upstream kernel and stabilize it. He went on to say that Oracle treats OpenStack in the same way by picking up a version of OpenStack, testing it, developing it, packaging it, and hardening it before releasing a new version of Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux.

Coekaerts noted, "If we did this with every version it would not be effective for customers since they would always be upgrading, and stability is important to our customers. Liberty is brand new. At Oracle, we spend a lot of time testing, packaging, fixing, and developing in-depth integration; this is needed to help ensure our products are shipped enterprise ready."

When the first release of Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux came out, the platform was packaged as individual RPM packages for each and every component, similar to how vendors package OpenStack. Coekaerts stated that in that particular model, an administrator for a cloud would be required to install an operating system and then install and configure every rpm. "Now, with Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux Release 2, we provide an entire preconfigured/installed image with all the Oracle Linux bits needed (and not more, or less) and all the OpenStack components needed (not more or less), that simplifies things for customers," Coekaerts added.

Coekaerts also provided an example of the package list that is to be installed on top of Oracle Linux as part of an OpenStack installation. You can find that here. Coekaerts added, "All of that is now contained in a nice Docker image for each module, and updates are based on Docker image updates. The nice thing is that each service is broken up in a separate Docker container."

The advantages to having OpenStack packaged as a Docker image include things like improved visibility. Coekaerts went on to say that pre-Docker, there would have been hundreds of python daemons installed and running with no breakdown, meaning that an administrator would have to do ps auxww and witness a labyrinth of processes in order to discover what is running and what is not.

"With Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux Release 2, each component is a separate Docker instance and a simple Docker ps will show all the different-named OpenStack services running - it's much cleaner," according to Coekaerts.

Considering the fact that Docker instances are simply filesystem checkouts on a filesystem, a system administrator has the ability go into the subdirectory for the Docker instance and view everything that is installed, according to Coekaerts. System administrators also have the ability to use the Docker tools to see which versions, what the changelog is, and other things about whatever is running. "By running Docker instances for services, it makes it simpler and easier to manage a complex product like OpenStack, compared to running many processes," Coekaerts stated. "It also gives a better overview of what is running and what is not."

Content originally published here
Sharing this story on Social Media? Use these hashtags! #Servers #Oracle #OpenStack #DockerContainers

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q2 Sees Server Growth Despite Midrange Decline

Taking a look at server sales in the second quarter showed that things have stayed pretty steady. This is extra good news considering there was a decreasing demand for midrange systems, according to research firm IDC. During this time, vendors as a whole saw their server revenue increase by 6.1% year over year to $13.5 billion. In addition to that, server shipments also increased by 3.2% from one year ago.

Moreover, revenue in the market also saw an increase on sales of higher-end servers and lower-end servers  used for hyperscale computing. However, the demand for midrange servers decreased by 5.4% year over year. This could be attributed to the recent ending of the x86 server refresh cycle, according to IDC.

In the second quarter, HP contained its top spot as the market leader with a share of 25.4%. The company's density-optimized servers were also in high demand as sales of the products saw a major increase of 119% year over year. Dell came in second place with a 17.5% share as its blade servers and rack servers experienced healthy growth.

Get a Quote on a Laptop Rental for Your Business Event! offers Laptop Rentals to over 1,500 cities in the United States!

Coming in third place was IBM and the company was also the only vendor in the top five to see its market share and revenue fall during the quarterly period. IBM sold off its x86 server business to Chinese PC developer Lenovo last year and, as a result, its server revenue saw a hefty decrease of 32.9% year over year.

On the other hand, Lenovo saw its server revenue completely skyrocket by over 500%, which was a definite benefit from the acquisition deal with IBM. The China-based company is also hoping to become a major player in the server industry as it has begun diversifying away from its traditional market of PC sales. In addition to that, Lenovo also reached a statistical tie with Cisco for fourth place in the server market.

In terms of geography, the United States was the fastest-growing market for servers, with 12.6% year over year growth. The Asia Pacific region, which excludes Japan, came in second to the United States with 12% growth.

With the x86 server refresh cycle over we can probably assume that midrange servers will continue to see a decline. However, with the numbers of growth posted by both the high-end and low-end markets, we can also assume that the server market is going to steadily increase.

Content originally published here
Sharing this story on Social Media? Use these hashtags! #Servers #Dell #HP #IBM #IDC #Lenovo #Cisco

Friday, May 29, 2015

Cloud Expansions Boosting Server Sales

This year server vendors saw the biggest growth in shipments in over 4 years so far. This is mainly due to the continued investments in the hyperscale server infrastructures that power all of the private and public cloud services. So this is a really big year for the industry, the best since the huge economic downturn a few years back. In the first quarter shipments grew by 13%, which is about 2.7 million units shipped out. Revenue grew by 18%, equaling a staggering $13.4 billion.

There is a really strong demand for the hyperscale area in the United States, which is driving the growth we are seeing. Hyperscale is a term that describes the systems that use thousands of servers to provide power to cloud and big data infrastructures. Every form factor is in more demand too, including rack-optimized, blade, density-optimized, and tower servers.

Hewlett-Packard was the number one vendor in revenue and in volume, closely followed by Dell in the number two spot. Hewlett-Packard rack-optimized servers are in very high demand at the moment. Even though their server business is pretty small compared to everything else they offer, they experience a huge amount of revenue growth compared to this time last year.

Oddly enough, even though there was so much growth in the server department, they weren't able to keep up with the competition. Overall, their revenue share dropped from 25.5% to 23.8% and it's marketing share by volume dropped 2.6% points down to 20%. Last week, Hewlett-Packard said that they are planning on splitting up into two separate companies later this year. One company would be selling enterprise equipment and services while the other company would be selling the standard PCs and printers.

Dell is kind of in the same boat. They had increased revenue and shipments but were not able to keep up with the rest of the market. Dell's share of revenue and shipments both slipped by just under 1 percentage point leaving them at 17.1% and 19%. They did, however, see revenue growth in rack-optimized products and density-optimized servers as well.

HP and Dell were at the top of the market when it came to revenue and shipments, but product mix made for some differences between the rest of the top five rankings by revenue and shipments. IBM was in third place for server revenue, followed by Lenovo and Cisco Systems. Lenovo was number three in server shipments ahead of Huawei Technologies and Inspur Electronics.

While HP and Dell led the market by both revenue and shipments, product mix led to some differences between the rest of the top five rankings by revenue and shipments. IBM had the third-largest server revenue, followed by Lenovo and Cisco Systems, while Lenovo was third by server shipments, ahead of Huawei Technologies and Inspur Electronics. Lenovo and IBM's numbers were also of course affected by Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's x86 server business.

Looking for a Quote on a Server Rental for your business? Rentacomputer is your #1 server rental provider in the US!

Cisco has a revenue growth of 44.4% from last year which is way above average. Their blade server business is also growing and getting more revenue from blade servers than every company on the list besides Hewlett-Packard.

It's good to see the server industry see growth. Cloud computing has driven business in other sectors of technology and the server industry was definitely in need of a pick-me-up.

Content originally published here

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Microsoft Phasing Out Old Technology That People Still Use

Microsoft is getting ready to do away with some old software yet again. The only problem is that pretty much everyone is still using it. Now, if companies don't upgrade, they will be left defenseless against hackers... And we all remember what happened last time.

Even though most businesses still use Microsoft Windows Server 2003 the company is still ending support for this software on July 14th of this year. No more patches are going to come out for it after that. This is pretty terrible considering most of the computers that process everything at all of those websites you shop at are using the software. Not just that, but apparently 21% of all servers everywhere are running Windows Server 2003, and 97% of data centers still use it as well. That is a staggering number! Unless all of those companies upgrade immediately, there are probably going to be some serious issues popping up this summer.

Even if the companies do decide to upgrade, for some reason it apparently takes 200 days to upgrade. I'm not a computer genius or a rocket scientist, but that seems pretty extreme. This means there is going to be a gap of at least a couple of months where servers will be prone to hacking threats. This is exactly how hospitals lost 4.5 million patent records last year. Not only that, but we all remember when they dropped support for Windows XP and a ton of ATM machines were exposed to attacks. It was so bad that the Chinese government banned Windows 8 from all government computers.

Get a Quote on a Server Rental from today! offers local delivery and installation anywhere in the United States!

Now, if you own a company and don't plan on upgrading... You CAN pay for custom support. The only catch is that it will cost you a quarter of a million dollars per year. Doesn't seem like such a good idea. It seems like they are really pushing people hard to upgrade here. If you haven't yet, it is certainly something to think about. Quickly.

Content originally published here

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dell Debuts New PowerEdge R930 Server for Enterprise Workloads

Dell recently debuted its PowerEdge R930, an enterprise application of its PowerEdge server lineup. This new launch is a part of Dell's attempt at capturing more workloads, including analytics. The R930 is specifically aimed at the traditional enterprise running workloads, like enterprise and customer relationship management applications from Oracle and SAP.

Executive Director of Dell Server Solutions Brian Payne stated that the server replacement cycle will take around three to five years. However, Payne argues that performance improvements from Dell along with configurations and preintegrated applications from Cloudera, SAP HANA and Oracle should convince enterprises to upgrade. "The aim is to be future read," Payne adds.

Other enterprise vendors, like IBM, have already moved away from the x86 server market as a commodity business but Dell is arguing that this type of server is taking UNIX workloads. Sure there's still the cloud but Payne believes that there will be growth in hybrid data centers.

The PowerEdge R930 is as follows:

  • 22% improvement on the SAP SD 2-Tier benchmark for a four-socket server
  • 6TB of memory in 96 DIMMs
  • 24 internal hard drives and support for SSD or hard drives
  • Automation, reliability and availability  features and software
In addition to that, Dell has also pre-engineered appliances based on the PowerEdge R930. Payne noted that the majority customers buy the standard R9309. Dell has also updated the PowerEdge VRTX and PowerEdge M1000e converged systems.

Dell also announced the PowerEdge FC830 and M830 blade servers. These servers are designed for database, technical computing and virtualization. The FC830 and M830 both run up to 3TB of memory and up to 72 processing cores for the Intel Xeon E5-4600 v3 processors.

Dell hasn't listed any pricing or availability for the new systems but noted that integrated systems based on the PowerEdge R930 will be available later this year.

Content originally published here