Articles about x86

What can we use to hit Intel between the eyes, thinks Qualcomm – a 10nm ARM server chip

Qualcomm says it has started shipping to customers samples of the Centriq 2400, its 10nm 64-bit ARMv8-A general-purpose server-grade system-on-chip. The mobile chip designer, based in San Diego, California, has recruited engineers from AMD, Intel and Broadcom, as well as tapped its internal pool of techies, to work on the …
Chris Williams, 07 Dec 2016
cloud

Big Switch takes big bet it can beat off big denial of service attacks

Big Switch Networks is taking aim at the kinds of IoT-based attacks that have rocked the Internet this year. Headlining its BigSecure Architecture release today is a service chaining solution the company's chief product officer Prashant Gandhi told Vulture South can scale up to deflect a terabit-scale attack in about ten …

Broadcom quietly dismantles its 'Vulcan' ARM server chip project

Broadcom is shutting down efforts to develop its own server-class 64-bit ARM system-on-chip, multiple sources within the semiconductor industry have told The Register. It appears the secretive project, codenamed Vulcan, did not survive Broadcom's acquisition by Avago and is gradually being wound down. Engineering resources …
Chris Williams, 07 Dec 2016
emo guy

Don't cut yourself on that Edge: Nexenta containerises DevOps

Software-only storage supplier Nexenta Systems has embraced more containerisation with its NexentaEdge DevOps Edition. The NextentaEdge block and object storage software product appeared in May 2015. It became containerised in September last year, and now it has a DevOps Edition as Nexenta extends its micro-services' …
Chris Mellor, 06 Dec 2016

Online advent calendar offers mystery VM every day until Christmas

Here's something fun for Christmas: the folks behind the free and open-source hosted QEMU hypervisor have whipped up an online advent calendar that offers you a new virtual machine to download every day between now and Christmas. The 2016 QEMU Advent Calendar kicked off last week with a download of the 56kb MikeOS, apparently …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Dec 2016

Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

Intel's Puma 6 chipset, used in gigabit broadband modems around the world, suffers from latency jitter so bad it ruins online gaming and other real-time connections. The semiconductor giant is preparing a firmware update to correct spikes of lag and bouts of packet loss that repeatedly flare up in home internet hubs in America …
Chris Williams, 03 Dec 2016
Server, photo via Shutterstock

Server market slumps as everyone stops buying

Abacus-shuffler IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker for the year's third quarter makes for ugly reading: the firm says just about all categories of server sales have stalled. Revenue was down 7.0 per cent, year over year, and shipments decreased 4.6 per cent. It's not all bad, there's still 2.38m machines and US$12.5 …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Dec 2016
empty pockets

Qubes goes commercial to keep its secure VM-focused OS dream alive

Financial necessity is forcing the security research group behind Qubes OS to begin establishing commercial funding to support its continued development. Warsaw-based Invisible Things Labs was founded in 2007 by low-level security researcher Joanna Rutkowska, who spoke at the Chaos Communications Congress last year about the …

Gartner: It's tough out there for server-sellers

Gartner's number-crunchers say the server market declined in the third quarter, with only Cisco and the Others supplier category showing revenue growth. Worldwide server revenue slumped 5.8 per cent from a year ago with shipments sliding 2.6 per cent. In the x86 category, there was a 1.6 per cent decline in revenue and 2.3 per …
Chris Mellor, 30 Nov 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Drive-by web nasty unmasks Tor Browser users, Mozilla dashes to patch zero-day vuln

Updated Mozilla is scrambling to patch a vulnerability in Firefox that is apparently being exploited in the wild to unmask Tor Browser users. Earlier today, a small package of SVG, JavaScript and x86 code popped up on a Tor mailing list that, when opened by Firefox or Tor Browser on a Windows PC, phones home to a remote server and …
Darren Pauli, 30 Nov 2016
HPE_Machine_node_prototype_SOC_end

RIP HPE's The Machine product, 2014-2016: We hardly knew ye

HPE lab boffins have finally, after years of work, built a proof-of-concept prototype of their fairytale memory-focused computer, The Machine. The achievement is bittersweet. A decision has been made within Hewlett Packard Enterprise management to step back from manufacturing and selling the much-hyped fabled device as a …
Chris Mellor, 29 Nov 2016

A Rowhammer ban-hammer for all, and it's all in software

A group of German researchers reckon they've cracked a pretty hard nut indeed: how to protect all x86 architectures from the “Rowhammer” memory bug. It's been 18 months since “Rowhammer” first emerged, and responses have largely come from individual vendors working out how to block the “bit-flipping” attacks in their own …
Don Draper is sad

I'm not having a VMware moment – there's just something in my eye

Analysis SAP VP Renu Raman thinks 2U, 24-drive, NVMe storage boxes could provoke a storage VMware moment. Raman looks after HANA cloud computing at SAP and his interests include high-performance persistence architecture for in-memory databases. What he's clocked is that there is storage hardware now in the same position as the 2U 2- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2016
A mock-up of the guts of HP's Machine

A closer look at HPE's 'The Machine'

Analysis HPE is undertaking the single most determined and ambitious architectural redesign of a server’s architecture in recent history in the shape of The Machine. We'll try to provide what Army types call a sitrep about The Machine, HPE's "completely different" system: its aims, its technology and its situation. Think of this as a …
Chris Mellor, 24 Nov 2016
Xen project hypervisor logo

Get patching: Xen bug blows hypervisor security to bits – literally

The Xen Project has issued eight security advisories for its open source hypervisor. XSA-195 is considered the most serious of the eight, as it could allow memory modification, resulting in arbitrary code execution, a crash of the host, or information exposure. According to the Xen Project, XSA-195 (CVE-2016-9383) is …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Nov 2016
Synergy_rack_detail

Rumble in the off-the-shelf server jungle: HPE comes out swinging

Backgrounder HPE has the biggest cojones in the server business, bending tin, designing silicon and pushing photonics, all the while mixing it in the rough and tumble of the COTS jungle. It has a multifaceted range of servers varying by processor architecture and type, processor carrying card form factor, and chassis design and intent. We' …
Chris Mellor, 22 Nov 2016

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Microsoft plans to emulate x86 instructions on ARM chips, throwing a compatibility lifeline to future Windows tablets and phones. The Cobalt project should bear fruit within the year, when the "Redstone 3" release of Windows 10 is due to arrive, Mary Jo Foley reports. Ideally, Microsoft wants everyone to convert their old …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2016
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

Wikibon invokes the old gods to make six tech predictions for 2017

Analysis Wikibon's chief technology guy, David Floyer, has put out his top six disruptive tech tips for 2017, seeing that ARM and Open CAPI will separately grow at Intel's Xeon expense, the cloud at on-premises' Server SAN expense, and flash at disk drive's expense, while XPoint will be a 2017 dud. Here's his list: AWS will …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2016
Cavium ThunderX board

Packet.net strong-ARMs cloud for $0.005 per core per hour

Packet.net, a bare-metal cloud aimed at developers, has flicked the switch on cloud-running servers powered by a pair of Cavium's 48-core ARMv8-A ThunderX processors. CEO Zachary Smith told The Register that the company's cooked up the cloud for a few reasons. Price is one: Packet will offer ARM cores at a tenth of the price …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016

Microsoft reveals Neandercloud / Cloud Sapiens co-existence and cross-breeding plan

Microsoft's revealed that it will keep working on its first Azure-in-a-box product, Azure Pack, until 2022 and support it until 2027. Azure Pack offers a cloud-like experience thanks to its use of the first-generation Azure GUI, but under the hood is Windows Server and System Center. The Pack can run on just about any x86 and …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Reg inquiry sees CSIRO clarify supercomputer tender

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has clarified its requirements for a new supercomputer, after an inquiry from The Register pointed out an inconsistency in its tender. As we reported yesterday, CSIRO's tender called for Windows compatibility and either Intel x86 or IBM Power CPUs …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Lisa Harvey-Smith at ASKAP

Australia teases binning x86 for Power CPUs in new supercomputer

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has issued a (regwalled) tender for a new petaflop-class supercomputer that can run either x86 or Power systems silicon. But those keen to declare Intel's high-end reign is coming to an end should not get too excited: the tender may mention Power …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2016

SimpliVity results scream 'I'm perfect for you, HPE!'

"No comment" is what SimpliVity usually says to questions about a rumoured takeover by HPE (it's what HPE says too). But SimpliVity has revealed more – stuff that can be taken as saying it would be a really good bride. "First, we just closed Q3, which we have not yet announced," said CEO Doron Kempel. "Results were very good …
Chris Mellor, 11 Nov 2016

Terror plot spy project helps Kinetica crank up database speed

HPC blog Kinetica presented its in-memory database solution at the recent OpenPOWER European Summit in Barcelona, and served up some benchmark results. You can see the entire presentation in the video below, but here are a few highlights. First, for those of you unfamiliar with Kinetica, the company came out of a US military research …

IBM: Why our Power9 CPU is going to make data centers great again

HPC blog Rani Borkar, IBM’s vice president of OpenPOWER development, gave attendees at the OpenPOWER Foundation Summit in Barcelona at the end of October a sneak peek at the vendor's upcoming Power9 processor. I captured it on video (see below) to show you what to expect. The first Power9, due in 2017 (probably mid-year but IBM didn’t …
Cat in a box, image via Shutterstock

Protected? Cosy? Pffft, Reduxio prefer 'daring stupidity'

Analysis Reduxio's array is a hybrid one with clever dedupe, and is restricted to an iSCSI interface, so let's move on. Actually let's not. Because under the covers something remarkable is going on. Co-founder and CTO Nir Peleg explained this to us press hacks at Reduxio's Israeli HQ in Petach Tikvah yesterday. At heart, he …
Chris Mellor, 09 Nov 2016
Wedding ring

HPE and SimpliVity may be at church door

Meg Whitman’s big storage play could soon be realised with sources claiming Hewlett Packard Enterprise is to bid between $3.8bn to $3.9bn for Simplivity. SimpliVity is the number two startup in the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) market which, in turn, is the strongest growth market in storage. Dell-EMC is the …
Chris Mellor, 09 Nov 2016
HP's forthcoming Elite X3 Windows Phone

HP Elite x3 phablet: The three-in-one business has been waiting for?

Review HP is making a hugely ambitious return to smartphones, billing the Elite x3 as “one device that’s every device”. No pressure, then. The proposition is that the Elite x3 is a phone that doubles as a PC and tablet replacement. Once connected to an external display, keyboard and mouse, either wirelessly or via a dock, this hefty …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Nov 2016
Sheep, image via Shutterstock

NooBaa wraps AWS S3 wool around Microsoft Azure Blob storage

Microsoft has partnered with object storage software startup NooBaa, which has developed an Amazon S3-compatible front-end to Azure. NooBaa produces object storage software that can put to work under-utilized compute cores and storage capacity on x86 servers and desktops around a customer's IT equipment estate, and make it all …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2016
Command line icon

'F*cking crap' aside, Linus Torvalds says Linux 4.9 is coming along nicely

Linux 4.9 is coming along nicely, with Linus Torvalds emitting the fourth release candidate on Saturday evening. But before he got there, he offered a minor kernel mailing list explosion when developer Miklos Szeredi proposed “the concept of feature flags to allow backward incompatible changes to the overlay format” in …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Nov 2016

IBM stirs Lenovo Optane into its Bluemix cloud

Analysis Lenovo x86 servers fitted with Intel Optane SSDs will be available by the end of the year. According to this blog they will be used in IBM's public cloud, Bluemix, for customers to check out Optane performance, being made available free of charge on so-called innovator testbeds, and installed in IBM's Bluemix data centres. …
Chris Mellor, 04 Nov 2016
Vlera http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-2241824p1.html

Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

Microsoft's made an interesting confession: Windows file compression is rubbish because the operating system once supported Digital Equipment Corporation's (DEC's) Alpha CPU. Alpha was a 64-bit RISC architecture that DEC developed as the successor to its VAX platform. DEC spent much of the late 1990s touting Alpha as a step …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Nov 2016

AMD will sell server CPUs at Happy Meal prices so you can supersize servers

AMD has deployed a team of folks to charm enterprise server users ahead of the debut of its Zen designed-from-scratch x86 processor microarchitecture and the message they're sending is that the new silicon represents a chance to supersize servers. As explained to The Register by Vinay Sinha, AMD's senior director for …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2016

ARM: Hold my beer, we'll install patches for your crappy IoT gear for you

ARM TechCon Processor designer ARM will squirt security fixes directly into internet-connected gadgets to hopefully keep them defended from hackers. Manufacturers of Internet-of-Things gizmos and other embedded products have complained that updating gear in the field is too much hard work. That means devices are rarely patched when …
Chris Williams, 25 Oct 2016

SUSE: Question. What do you call second-place in ARM enterprise server linux? Answer: Red Hat

ARM TechCon SUSE is claiming victory over Red Hat by announcing – and these caveats are all crucial – "the first commercial enterprise Linux distribution optimized for ARM AArch64 architecture servers." In plainer English, SUSE has developed an enterprise-grade Linux distribution that runs on 64-bit ARM servers (should you happen to ever …
Chris Williams, 25 Oct 2016
AMD CEO Lisa Su speaking at the firm's 2015 financial analyst day

AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all

On Tuesday, Intel said it expects to bank in the final quarter of the year $15.7bn in sales, plus or minus $500m. That's a billion-dollar swing. Two days later, on Thursday, AMD proudly revealed that its entire revenue for the three months to September 24 was $1.3bn. Just over a billion dollars. AMD is little more than …
Chris Williams, 21 Oct 2016

EU legal eagle: Euro court should review Intel's €1.6bn fine

An EU High Court Advocate General has recommended a review of the case that saw Intel slapped with a record fine after it was found to have coerced OEMs to avoid using rival companies' x86 CPUs. Back in 2009, the EC imposed a €1.06bn penalty - 4.15 per cent of Intel's turnover - following a multi-year legal battle but …
Two eggs hugging couple arranged in carton

EMC Dell deal: They're loved up and living together, but whose house rules?

Comment Dell and EMC are culturally separated by their different approaches to product development, to servers in Dell and storage in EMC. In the combined house, what will be the effect? Dell's forte, or at least the chief of them, is a superbly executed supply chain, box-development and shifting at a level no one has bettered - well …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2016
Morgan Stanley

SimpliVity sheds staff, rattles tin for another $100m from investors

+Comment Hyper-converged infrastructure appliance vendor SimpliVity is working with Morgan Stanley to get more private funding and to launch an IPO possibly in 2017. It has also laid people off. SimpliVity has been making cuts while looking for $100m in extra cash, a source familiar with the matter has told The Register. We have seen …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2016

Intel stock falls on glum Q4

Intel's share price is down 5.22 per cent to $35.78 apiece in after-hours trading today after the biz predicted a slightly less rosy fourth quarter than expected. Analysts had hoped Chipzilla would promise to deliver a $16.1bn quarter in the final three months of the year – the processor giant instead said it's aiming to bag $ …
Chris Williams, 19 Oct 2016

Imagine a sad deflating balloon. There, that's IBM's servers, storage

Analysis IBM's Systems segment saw dismal revenues in its third quarter results, with declines in both servers and storage. Z System mainframes are benefiting from the Watson-style cognitive computing efforts and both all-flash and software-defined storage are looking up, like beacons of light in the gloom. It's worth stressing that …
Chris Mellor, 18 Oct 2016

Samsung to fab 10nm FinFET SoCs for next year's exploding phones

Pocket explosives maker Samsung claims it has started the "mass production" of the world's first 10nm FinFET system-on-chips. These SoCs are expected to be next-generation Samsung-designed Exynos chips, and possibly Qualcomm Snapdragons, which are at the heart of today's ARM-powered Android handhelds. The South Korean giant, …
Chris Williams, 17 Oct 2016
Intel's Stratix 10 ARM-base FPGA

Microsoft boffins: Who needs Intel CPUs when you've got FPGAs?

Microsoft hooks up reprogrammable chips directly to its data centers' internal networks to ramp up the performance of its web applications. The Windows giant is so impressed by the tech, it reckons the customizable hardware could eventually take on more computational work than the Intel workhorse processors that today fill its …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Oct 2016

Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Google has gently increased pressure on Intel – its main source for data-center processors – by saying it is "looking forward" to using chips from IBM and other semiconductor rivals. The web advertising giant said it hopes to use a mix of "architectures within our cloud" in the future. Back in April, Google revealed it had …
Chris Williams, 15 Oct 2016

Intel: New x86 AI instructions

Intel is adding new x86 instructions ideal for machine-learning applications to its upcoming Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors. The instructions are part of the AVX-512 family: they are described by Chipzilla as "vector instructions for deep learning" with enhanced word-variable precision and single precision floating-point …
Chris Williams, 15 Oct 2016

Junos OS CLI has a bad bug. So good luck applying its new patches

Juniper user? Feeling smug because you didn't have to race to download the latest Cisco patch round? Sorry: Juniper has just emitted eight vulnerability patches of its own. Let's start with this advisory, since it's rated critical. The Junos Space network management system has a crop of vulnerabilities, some of which are …
VSI OpenVMS x86 boot screen

VMS will be ready to run on x86 in 2019!

VMS Software Inc (VSI), which became the custodian of the venerable OpenVMS in 2014, is getting close to its Holy Grail of running the OS on x86. HP had decided that the operating system it inherited from DEC was end-of-life back in 2013, but in 2014 signed over an exclusive licence to VSI. At that time, the company's CEO …
man in suit is trapped in a box, Photo by Shutterstock

Just minding your own business, doing HCI. Suddenly you're inside ... a magic quadrant

Gartner's gnomic gurus have shone their light on the hyper-converged/integrated system suppliers and devised a new magic quadrant, following on from its August 2015 effort. SimpliVity gets the big promotion, from a visionary last year to a leader this year. The other changes are: HPE jumps to the front of the leaders, …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2016
LInux nutella

Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Linus Torvalds believes ARM has little chance of usurping x86, because the latter has built an open hardware ecosystem that the former just doesn't look like replicating. Torvalds voiced his opinions in a fireside chat with David Rusling, chief technology officer of ARM tools vendor Linaro, at the end of September. Rusling …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2016
Infinibox

The shoemaker, the array refresh and the VMworld smackdown

Case study If the shoe fits then wear it; it’s the motto you'd expect a footwear retailer to do business by. Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW), a 400-outlet US shoe chain, applied that advice when its main storage array, a VMAX we are told, failed to deliver data fast enough and began costing too much. It bought an InfiniBox instead and the …
Chris Mellor, 06 Oct 2016