Feeds

Red Hat rallies hardware makers with 64-bit ARM server partner program

Standards sought for low-power data center kit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Red Hat has upped its commitment to support servers based on the ARM processor architecture, with the formation of a new partner program specifically for vendors of 64-bit ARM hardware for the data center.

The Red Hat ARM Partner Early Access Program is aimed at both chipmakers and server builders, and its early members include AMD, American Megatrends, AppliedMicro, Broadcom, Cavium, Dell, HP, Linaro, and ARM Holdings itself.

"By providing our participating partners with the tools, resources and support needed to build a common development platform, we can help facilitate partner-driven 64-bit ARM solutions that are based upon Red Hat technologies," Jim Totton, VP of Red Hat's platform business unit, said in a shrinkwrapped statement.

Among the program's goals will be to give participants early access to Red Hat software for 64-bit ARM, as well as to collaborate on standardized server software and application development platforms that can support multiple hardware designs.

The industry has been abuzz with talk of replacing traditional server iron with power-sipping, ARM-based kit for the last few years, but only now that the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture has matured has the tech really seemed ready to break into the mainstream.

In fact, Karl Freund, former chief marketer for early ARM server chipmaker Calxeda, has said that one reason for Calxeda's collapse in December was that large software vendors seemed unwilling to get behind its 32-bit designs – and he called out Red Hat, in particular.

Shadowman seems genuinely bullish about ARMv8-A hardware, however, no doubt because it will be easier to port its existing software portfolio for the Intel platform to a 64-bit target.

For hardware makers, the chief selling point of ARM is thought not to be its performance per watt – which, though admirable, is likely to be matched by Intel soon – but its flexibility. Chipmakers are free to license ARM processor cores and bolt on any other components they want, resulting in a wide range of components for server OEMs to choose from.

But the chief stumbling block for ARM in the data center has been that because chipmakers have such freedom in designing their silicon, different vendors' ARM system-on-chips (SOCs) have been incompatible in subtle ways, forcing software makers to rejigger their code for each product. The result has been a fragmented ecosystem that's hard for open source projects like Linux to properly support.

Recently, ARM has proposed a standard for 64-bit ARM server SoC interoperability that could clear up some of this fragmentation. As Red Hat was one of the companies that helped develop this spec – along with AMD, Broadcom, and Linaro, among others – it will likely inform the early standardization work of the Red Hat ARM Partner Early Access Program.

Beyond this low-level work, however, Red Hat says it intends its partner program to also produce developer tools and documentation based on common standards that will be able to support both today's and tomorrow's ARM server hardware. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.