Articles about x86

Explo-Xen! Bunker buster bug breaks out guests from hypervisor

Code dive A super-bug in the Xen hypervisor may allow privileged code running in guests to escape to the underlying host. This means, on vulnerable systems, malicious administrators within virtual machines can potentially break out of their confines and start interfering with the host server and other guests. This could be really bad …
Chris Williams, 27 Jul 2016

Remix chomps Marshmallow, updates its Android for PCs

An imminent update to Jide’s Remix OS, for Android, is the first to be based on Marshmallow 6.0 and a bunch of UI enhancements. Remix OS brings what the industry euphemistically calls “desktop productivity” to Android: in other words, multitasking, overlapping windows, true keyboard and mouse support, and file management. …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016
Still from HBO fantasy miniseries "Game of Thrones". Copyright HBO

Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Brexit, weak pound. A price hike is coming

Exclusive Hewlett Packard Enterprise is to bump up the price of its infrastructure gear in Blighty from today, 25 July, blaming the crash in the value of UK sterling currency for the hike. According to sources close to the matter, the cost of servers will go up between six to seven per cent, and storage and legacy networking by circa 10 …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016

Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

AMD fans are over the moon today as their favorite processor designer has sold more chips than expected in the three months to June 25. The Sunnyvale, California, biz beat analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings per share in a billion-dollar quarter that ended in the black rather than the usual red: the Radeon maker banked …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016

The cloud ain't making it rain for Intel right now: Tech giants pause server chip sales

Analysis Intel's stock price fell on Wednesday after it became clear the processor maker is not selling quite as many server processor chips as investors had hoped. The Silicon Valley giant reckons its CPU sales into data centers will hit double-digit growth by the end of the year. So far, with half the year gone, we're staring at mid- …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016
Do the right thing on the internet of things

If managing PCs is still hard, good luck patching 100,000 internet things

Internet of Things (IoT) hype focuses on the riches that will rain from the sky once humanity connects the planet, but mostly ignores what it will take to build and operate fleets of things. And the operational side of things could be hell. “IT can barely keep their desktops patched,” Splunk chief technology officer Snehal …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2016
CHILE -FEBRUARY 6: Moais in Rapa Nui National Park on the slopes of Rano Raruku volcano on Easter Island, Chile. Photo by Shutterstock

The History Boys: Object storage ... from the beginning

Backgrounder This is a terrific object storage history map from Silicon Valley object storage guy Philippe Nicolas*, who has put together a spreadsheet detailing the history of content-addressable storage (CAS**) – otherwise generally known as object storage. I have heard so many odd things about suppliers and technologies in this market …

Pimp your ride with new Linux for cars and an rPi under the hood

The Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project is about to unleash the second version of its unified code base - snappily called UCB 2.0 - with expanded hardware support. For the participating car-makers and hardware vendors it's a big deal. Features landing in the latest distribution include support for a rear seat display with …
Iris flowers

Hype-filled upstart Symbolic IO hires one-time Micron veep

Rob Peglar, Micron’s departed VP for Advanced Storage, is joining Symbolic IO. Instead of evangelising 3D XPoint memory he’ll be talking about ten times faster IRIS Compute. Peglar becomes an SVP and CTO at Symbolic. CEO Brian Ignomirello said in a canned quote: “ When Rob approached us about joining the company, it reinforced …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jul 2016
Chinatown_London

China prototypes pre-exascale super trio with its own non-US chips

Before any country can deploy an exascale system, they have to get pre-exascale prototypes into the field to test out their underlying technologies and determine what approaches have the best chance of scaling up performance and being manufactured affordably. It looks like China is looking at three different pre-exascale systems …
Kevin Turner

Farewell to Microsoft's Sun Tzu: Thanks for all the cheese, Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner’s departure as Microsoft’s chief salesman after 11 years marks the final passing of the Redmond old guard. Chief operating officer Turner - KT, as he was known - was a chief of the old-school corporate kind; sales, marketing and Microsoft’s stores all reported into Turner. His departure is part of a massive sales …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jul 2016
Businessman looks at abstract painting overlaid with server room... he is possibly thinking of or conceiving of a storage/compute concept. Photo by Shutterstock

Apeiron claims NVMe fabric speed without NVMe over fabrics - but how?

Backgrounder Apeiron Data Systems' external ADS1000 array uses NVMe media to deliver block storage access using NVMe over Ethernet (NOE) but not NVMe over fabric technology, (NVMeF) which can use Ethernet. How does this subtle distinction work and what is the difference between NOE and NVMeF? NVMeF is a way of using the NVMe protocol, …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2016
AMD Radeon RX 480 card

AMD promises code fix for power-hungry Radeon RX 480 GPU

AMD says it will soon release a software update for its Radeon RX 480 graphics card to stop it slurping unexpectedly large amounts of power. The world's "other" purveyor of x86 and GPU chips says it will distribute the update later this week, but in the meantime it does not believe any motherboards are at risk for damage from …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jul 2016
OSNEXUS_QuantaStor_license_manager_screen

OSNEXUS: Storage upstart that funded itself before gaining angel wings

Take one ambitious Citrix engineering director who wanted to start his own storage company, sprinkle in $2m of angel funding and seven years later you find a IBM SoftLayer-blessed 20-person startup competing with DataCore. Nexenta and $100m+ funding, and other VC-backed software-defined storage vendors. How did that happen? …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2016

InfiniBand-on-die MIA in Oracle's new 'Sonoma' Sparc S7 processor

Oracle's Sparc S7 processor codenamed Sonoma will not feature on-chip InfiniBand interfaces as expected. The CPU, designed for scale-out systems and revealed in detail by The Register in August, was due to sport an integrated InfiniBand controller capable of shoveling 28GBit/s directly between the processor and other nodes and …
Chris Williams, 29 Jun 2016
Lenovo_Think_Server_RD_Series

Lenovo HPC bounces back after IBM spinoff

When IBM sold off its System x division to Lenovo Group in the fall of 2014, some big supercomputing centers in the United States and Europe that were long-time customers of Big Blue had to stop and think about what their future systems would look like and who would supply them. It was not a foregone conclusion that the Xeon- …
Micron 9100 NVMe HHHL SSD

NVMe SSDs tormented for months in some kind of sick review game

Review NVM Express (NVMe) is the next generation specification for accessing non-volatile memory such as flash. Traditional technologies such as SAS and SATA are just too slow. In order to demonstrate how much of a difference NVMe makes, Micron has provided 12 9100 NVMe flash drives, 800GB each in the HHHL (standard PCIe card) format …
Trevor Pott, 27 Jun 2016
Cute Lego keyboard

HDS goes hyper with its latest pile of converged IT Lego blocks

Aiming to stem the Nutanix snd SimpliVity hyper-converged tide, HDS announced the UCP HC V240, its first hyper-converged UCP product, along with the entry-level converged UCP 2000, for its mid-market and enterprise customers. Think of UCP (Unified Compute Platform) systems as being like EMC Vblocks (H-blocks?) and UCP HC boxen …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2016
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

It's all fun and games until someone loses a rack*

HPC Blog This year’s ISC’16 Student Cluster Competition boasts the most diverse set of hardware in the near 10-year history of student cluster competitions. Student teams are running three different system architectures (x86, ARM, and Power) in both traditional and hybrid (hardware accelerated) forms. The configurations of these …
Messerschmitt micro-car

Cloudian clobbers car drivers with targeted ads

Cloudian object storage is being used to target Japanese drivers with focussed ads as they drive past a digital billboard. Dentsu, a Japanese advertising supplier, has set up an experimental system on a road in the Tokyo area where road gantry-located video cameras capture images of vehicles and drivers. It features deep …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

OpenIO pulls up ARM controller SOCs: Kinetic's Marvellous... can anybody do it?

Comment OpenIO, the French object-storage startup, is progressing its work with Kinetic drives. The idea is that object storage stores data on server nodes, and those nodes could be individual Kinetic disk drives. Such drives have a micro-server, so to speak, running on them, providing direct Ethernet access and an object-style Get: …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016

Intel's Knights Landing: Fresh x86 Xeon Phi lineup for HPC and AI

The long wait for volume shipments of Intel’s “Knights Landing” parallel x86 processors is over. At the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the company is unveiling the official lineup of its Xeon Phi chips, which are aimed at high performance computing and machine learning workloads alike. The …

Intel's Knights Landing lands

Intel's latest Xeon Phi processors for high-performance parallel computer systems are now, finally, shipping in volume. The 14nm chips, which feature eight billion transistors, were already in the hands of Cray, Sandia National Laboratory in the US and a few other boffinry types. Today, our sister site The Next Platform …
Chris Williams, 20 Jun 2016

Fujitsu picks 64-bit ARM for Japan's monster 1,000-PFLOPS super

ISC Fujitsu has signaled it will use 64-bit ARMv8 cores in the whopping exascale supercomputer it's building for Japan's boffins. Back in 2014, the Japanese IT giant was hired by the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science to construct the Flagship 2020 machine – dubbed the Post-K super because it will succeed Japan's K …
Chris Williams, 20 Jun 2016
Search and rescue image from Lledo via Shutterstock

You've got petabytes of unused storage, says Formation. Er, do we?

Formation Data Systems says there is stranded storage capacity in virtual server environments., The firm says it can locate this in servers and storage across a data centre, pool it, and provision it as a flexible shared storage pool, giving extra storage capacity with no extra hardware purchase. How much? Oh, terabytes or …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jun 2016

All aboard the PCIe bus for Nvidia's Tesla P100 supercomputer grunt

ISC Nvidia has popped its Tesla P100 accelerator chip onto PCIe cards for bog-standard server nodes tasked with artificial intelligence and supercomputer-grade workloads. The P100 was unveiled in April at Nvidia's GPU Tech Conference in California: it's a 16nm FinFET graphics processor with 15 billion transistors on a 600mm2 die. …
Chris Williams, 20 Jun 2016
Lost box, photo via Shutterstock

Persistent containers from Portworx's PX-Enterprise package

Portworx's PX-Enterprise package is persistent storage for containers. The firm claims it can reduce costs by 70 per cent compared to so-called legacy storage products. Startup Portworx says "containers are distributed and fast, while legacy storage is siloed and slow, and cannot be quickly provisioned or scaled to respond to …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jun 2016
Man drinks Beer. Photo by shutterstock

Forget your stupid campus party. I'm going to Frankfurt to do some HPC

HPC Blog The world's attention will be focused on Frankfurt, Germany next week for the kick-off of the fifth annual ISC'16 Student Cluster Competition. Twelve teams of university undergraduates will travel from far and wide to prove their HPC and clustering prowess in a competition that will demand everything they have – and more. …
Doh image via Shutterstock

I know for certain what software-defined storage is. It's the new black

I’m not going to re-define software-defined. Instead I’d like to look around and try to make sense of different interpretations and architecture designs that make this claim. I have intentionally left out some solutions because they are not software-defined for me, while for others, I may have just forgotten to mention them or …
News room with blur motion effect

HPE Dockerises servers

HPE has decided its servers are the right containers for, well, containers: it's prepping a range of x86 services bundled with Docker. It's going to ship what the Docker announcement calls "integrated and fully supported" servers running the Docker commercially supported (CS) engine. First cab off the rank will be a validated …
Green data centre

Hadoop rigs are really supercomputers waiting for the right discipline

IBM reckons the rigs assembled to run the likes of Hadoop and Apache Spark are really just supercomputers in disguise, so has tweaked some of its supercomputer management code to handle applications that sprawl across x86 fleets. As explained to The Register by IBM's veep for software-defined infrastructure Bernie Sprang, apps …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jun 2016

Cisco axes unloved M-Series modular servers two years after launch

Exclusive Cisco will kill off its M-Series modular server line, citing lack of customer interest. In an internal company memo, seen by The Register, Cisco data center/virtualization VP Frank Palumbo said stalled demand for the modular line convinced Cisco to end sales for the compact servers less than two years after their introduction …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2016
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Anaemic hyperscale orders hurt server makers in Q1

A pause in hyper-scale deployments has triggered the first year-on-year decline in seven quarters for global server shipments and revenues. Also a “clear end to the enterprise refresh cycle” contributed to the Q1, 2016 slow down, according to IDC, the tech market watcher. In essence, Q1 2015 revenues were flattered by a major …
Drew Cullen, 02 Jun 2016
Titanic, image via shutterstock

That sinking feeling: Itanic spat's back as HPE Oracle trial resumes

Oracle is back in court, this time fending off a $3bn case brought by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. A week after it lost to Google on Java, Oracle is now resuming its fight with HPE over damages relating to HPE's claims that Oracle back-tracked on a commitment to put its software on HP servers running Intel’s Itanic chips. HPE …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jun 2016
The Twin Jet Nebula. Pic: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This storage upstart knows its technical onions: Symbolic IO

Analysis Symbolic IO is a startup that claims its storage and compute technology can run database queries 60 times or more faster than other systems, and offers ”limitless enterprise storage.” It was founded in 2012 by Brian Ignomirello, a former CTO of Hewlett Packard’s Global storage unit, and secured $1.4m in debt financing in 2013 …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jun 2016
Amazon data center

Server makers love Intel Xeons (true) - but not the price tag

Amazon, Google and other giant cloud companies are buying server CPUs in huge numbers, helping to increase global shipments in 2016 for x86 and ARM server class microprocessor by 3.5 per cent to 22.9 million shipments. Strong demand means rising average selling prices (ASPs) - up 25 per cent between 2010 and 2015 - and revenue …
Drew Cullen, 01 Jun 2016
Space Invaders schematic

ARM Cortex-A73: How a top-end mobe CPU was designed from scratch

Analysis For its latest top-end smartphone processor core – the Cortex-A73 – ARM designed its microarchitecture more or less from scratch. Whereas its predecessor, 2015's Cortex-A72, was drawn up in Austin, Texas, the new A73 microarchitecture was designed by a team in France, starting about three years ago. Although we're told the …
Chris Williams, 01 Jun 2016
DataCore HQ

Dig out that SPC-1 .xls: DataCore Parallel IO speed tweak may rewrite benchmark

+Comment DataCore has accelerated its Parallel IO technology's performance by 50 per cent with a v10 PSP5 software release, when run in its SANsymphony and Hyper-converged Virtual SAN software products. DataCore's tech has multi-core x86 servers processing IO in parallel. As far as we know, only DDN Storage with its IME burst buffer …
Chris Mellor, 31 May 2016
Diane M. Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group

Intel's new plan: A circle that starts in your hand and ends in the cloud

As predicted by The Register, Intel has created an x86-powered reference platform for home gateways that makes the box you use for broadband services an Atom-powered target for virtual machines delivered by carriers. Announced today at Computex in Taipei, the new AnyWAN GRX750 is a system-on-a-chip that can serve as the basis …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2016

The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

Special Report We stroll down Memory Lane and ask: was this The Ultimate Curse of Fry? Spring cleaning the other day, my wife found a Windows wristband. It was in a box where ten year old 4MB MMC cards went to die, along with paperclips, odd screws and a lot of dust. Keep or chuck? Chuck, I said, before looking closer, and realising that it …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 May 2016
Data, image via Shutterstock

Urika-ka-ka-ka! Cray unveils open source big data box

Supercomputer shop Cray is branching into analytics with tailored high-end systems packing open-source number-crunching software. Cray Tuesday unveiled the Urika-GX ticking some of the best-known technology boxes and due in the second-half of 2016. The Urika-GX is preinstalled with OpenStack and Apache Mesos for cloud and …
Gavin Clarke, 24 May 2016
Xen logos

Xen says new patch is 'simple and crude' and warns against using it

The Xen project has revealed a new bug, XSA-180, but warns its patch for the problem is itself problematic. The bug means that “When the libxl toolstack launches qemu for HVM guests, it pipes the output of stderr to a file in /var/log/xen.” “This output is not rate-limited in any way. The guest can easily cause qemu to print …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2016
Green data centre

Your next server will be a box full of connected stuff, not a server

Servers are about to devolve into bespoke collections of compute and storage, says Gartner veep and distinguished analyst Andrew Butler. Speaking last week's Infrastructure Operations & Data Centre Summit in Sydney, Butler said the days of buying a server to handle a specific workload are nearly gone. Instead, you'll soon shop …
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2016
PCM IBM chip, photo IBM

Great, IBM has had a PCM breakthrough. Who exactly is going to manufacture?

Analysis IBM has demonstrated a 3-bit Phase-Change Memory chip with IBM Zurich researcher Dr. Haris Pozidis talking about it in a YouTube video and not mentioning 3D XPoint once. The idea is to counter the relatively high cost of PCM chips by giving them 3 bits per cell, TLC or triple-level cells, instead of just one - clever. This …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2016
Xen project logo

Xen patches theoretical bug

The Xen Project has revealed a new bug but says it knows of no operating system that is vulnerable to it. XSA-176 means “guest user mode code may be able to establish mappings of arbitrary memory inside the guest, allowing it to elevate its privileges inside the guest.” The problem's roots lie in the Page Size (PS) page table …
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2016
Larry Ellison

Salesforce cutting ties to Larry Ellison's database?

Salesforce is working to cut its dependency on Oracle with a project called Sayonara. The cloud-CRM provider’s project is reported to be headed by former Microsoft software architect Pat Helland who co developed Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Helland worked on Bing’s Cosmos – a multi-tenanted architecture of massively …
Gavin Clarke, 16 May 2016
Lenovo TinyOne PC and monitor

Lenovo's European prez quits over 'serious strategic disagreements'

Lenovo's European president Eric Cador is today stepping down from the firm after just 12 months in post, citing "strategic disagreements". Luca Rossi, currently president of Lenovo’s biz in Latin America, will succeed Cador. Prior to joining Lenovo in 2015, Rossi was EMEA president for Acer. Cador will return to his …
Kat Hall, 10 May 2016
Rani Borkar

Chipzilla veteran joins IBM's OpenPOWER

IBM has tapped former Intel product development veteran Rani Borkar as veep for development of its OpenPOWER project. Borkar left Chipzilla at the end of last year, after 27 years with the company. At Intel, she specialised in chips for PCs and data centres – for example, speaking for Intel when it first started pitching its …
spy_eye_648

PHP 7.0 comes to Azure

Azure's app service now supports the x86 and x64 builds of PHP 7.0. Microsoft's also signalled it will soon retire PHP 5.4. And fair enough too - it's unsupported. Microsoft doesn't say when it will pull the plug, but has warned it's going to do so. Migrating apps to newer versions of PHP is therefore compulsory for those who …
Simon Sharwood, 05 May 2016

Intel has driven a dagger through Microsoft's mobile strategy

Analysis Intel’s retreat from mobile chips is one of the biggest disruptions to the Wintel relationship in Microsoft’s 35-year business relationship with the chip giant – if not the biggest of all. There have been tiffs before, but not like this – and it raises serious questions about Microsoft’s mobile investments. Don’t expect rebel …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 May 2016