Ubuntu Linux server with ARM processor rolled out by Boston Limited

The Viridis Microserver will run on ARM Cortex-A15 processors and is certified to run Ubuntu Linux 13.10

Boston Limited has announced a new server based on ARM processors and certified to run Ubuntu Linux 13.10, a move that could further stir up growing interest in ARM servers.

When it ships, the Viridis Microserver will be one of the few commercially available ARM servers. Top server makers like Hewlett-Packard and Dell have announced their intent to release ARM servers, but only a handful of products from small vendors are commercially available.

Other ARM server makers include Penguin Computing and Aeon Computing. Advanced Micro Devices is expected to start selling ARM servers in next year's first quarter.

Boston Limited did not respond to requests for comment on price or worldwide availability of Viridis Microserver.

There is a growing interest in ARM servers as low-power alternatives to x86 servers, which dominate the data center. Some believe that low-power ARM cores are more power-efficient in processing search, social networking and other Web requests.

ARM server adoption is expected to grow with the released of 64-bit ARM chips next year from companies like AMD, Calxeda, AppliedMicro and others. Right now ARM-based servers support 32-bit addressing.

The Viridis Microserver design is centered around Calxeda's EnergyCore ECX-2000 system-on-chip (SOC), which was released late last month and has CPUs based on ARM's Cortex-A15 design. The microserver has six ECX-2000 SOCs, each of which draws just six watts of power, has four CPU cores running at 1.8GHz, 10 Gigabit Ethernet links, 16GB of DDR3 memory and 4MB of cache.

With certification to run Ubuntu Linux, the Viridis Microserver will have the drivers to support the Calxeda chip. Software development for the ARM architecture is still in its infancy, with software packages being developed by Linaro, and Oracle and ARM working to tweak the Java programming language for ARM's 32-bit and upcoming 64-bit chips.

The natural applications for the Viridis Microserver server would be for Web hosting, or for someone who wants an ARM server to test applications, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

"We haven't seen the exact market for these products emerge yet," McCarron said. "It's early to say where it'll fit."

The ultra-low power server market is still very small, and ARM-based servers will start in the 2U form factor and work their way up, McCarron said.

The Viridis Microserver was announced at the Supercomputing Conference being held in Denver this week.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Arm HoldingsserversBoston Limitedhardware systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?