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Oracle acrobatics in the cloud
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Oracle says SPARCv9 has Spectre CPU bug, patches coming soon

Oracle has told users of its SPARC-powered platforms that they have the Spectre processor design flaw. A support document buried in Oracle’s customers-only portal, but seen by The Register, states: “Oracle believes that certain versions of Oracle Solaris on SPARCv9 are affected by the Spectre vulnerabilities.” The document, …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2018
Attorney Lionel Hutz
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Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

Just days after The Register revealed a serious security hole in its CPU designs, Intel is the target of three different class-action lawsuits in America. Complaints filed in US district courts in San Francisco, CA [PDF], Eugene, OR [PDF], and Indianapolis, IN [PDF] accuse the chip kingpin of, among other things, deceptive …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jan 2018
AI_summit

All the AIs NVMe, says IBM: Claims POWER9s + InfiniBand brainier than COTS

+Comment IBM has claimed its POWER9 gear is better placed to help AIs doing "cognitive" work than your common-or-garden X86 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) kit after tests in New York earlier this month. Big Blue recently ran a "demo" which it said proved it can leave COTS servers and storage in the dust using (what else?) its own …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2017
Boxer_blow

All I want for Christmas is compute: Enterprise server demand rising

Slumping enterprise data centre server sales are set to recover in 2018 driven by the Purley refresh cycle and the need for more compute. Dell'Oro's third calendar 2017 quarter server market overview said server market unit shipments increased 4 per cent year-on-year to 2.9 million driven by growth in the cloud but enterprise …
Chris Mellor, 18 Dec 2017
Man in tie smashes printer with baseball bat in a field.
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Funnily enough, no, IT admins who trash biz machines can't claim they had permission

In a not particularly surprising decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, USA, this week ruled that Michael Thomas, in his former role as IT operations manager for web hosting biz ClickMotive, was not authorized to trash company files and infrastructure as he claimed. Upset that a friend had been fired from …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Dec 2017
Sad man in server room
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Developers, developers, developers: How 'serverless' crowd dropped ops like it's hot

What is serverless? Sure, the name serverless sounds stupid, but serverless technologies like AWS Lambda are increasingly being used by developers looking to build applications quickly. The key word is developers. Serverless is all about giving developers the ability to execute code without requiring sysadmins. There's no …
Trevor Pott, 12 Dec 2017
Stack of dollars. photo by shutterstock

Server winners and losers: HPE, Dell EMC still sitting pretty at the top, but uh-oh Lenovo

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC top the league tables for server revenue and sales in Q3, but face rapid growth from its global competition, according to a new Gartner report. After an encouraging summer, the server market as a whole is growing with $14.7bn (£11bn) in revenue, up 16 per cent year-over-year, and …
Richard Priday, 11 Dec 2017
Summit_racks
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AI smarts: IBM pushes out 'faster than X86' POWER9 servers

IBM has launched its first POWER9 server, the dual-socket AC922, saying it is designed for compute-intensive AI work, speeding frameworks like Chainer, TensorFlow and Caffe. It has two POWER9 chips and from two to six NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, and shared CPU-GPU memory. The CPUs can have 16, 18, 20 or 22 cores and up to 44 cores …
Chris Mellor, 07 Dec 2017
Amazon data center

Yes sir, no sir, 3 bags NoSQL sir: It's a whizz-bang benchmark ... but WTF does it signify?

Sometimes fast just isn’t fast enough and in the fast moving world of NoSQL databases, what was considered blindingly fast yesterday can be seen as slow today. For instance, Cassandra has always been thought of as a fast solution for ingesting data into a database cluster, but today upcoming systems such as Aerospike and Scylla …
Andrew Cobley, 07 Dec 2017

AMD scores EPYC gig powering new Azure instances

AMD's return to the server market has won it a place in a top tier cloud: the company today revealed that it has won Microsoft's business for the next generation of Azure's L-series instances. The chip-maker told The Register its 32-core, 2.2GHz EPYC 7551 will power a new “Lv2” Azure instance type. Azure's L-series instances …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2017
Dell logo
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Big Mike is going to make HPE's life a living Dell: Server sales surge

Dell is set to overtake HPE and become the number-one server vendor in terms of revenue and unit shipment numbers, according to IDC. Meanwhile, Lenovo's server shipments are under severe pressure. IDC's third-quarter Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker has two tables and a chart showing what's going on. Here's the server vendor …
Chris Mellor, 02 Dec 2017
Skylaked_Dell_HCI

Core blimey: Dell dunks hyperconverged server lines in Skylake

Analysis Dell is increasing the performance of its hyperconverged product lines by adding 14G PowerEdge servers amid triple-digit VxRail revenue growth. Is this just a short-term spurt or something deeper? Dell's VxRail and XC Series appliances will use the latest Xeon Scalable Processor CPUs. The XC Series is also being given new NVMe …
Chris Mellor, 30 Nov 2017
Summit_racks

Summit for the readers who are hot for petaFLOPs: Server nodes flashed at SC17

Analysis IBM offered HPC fans at SC17 a gawk at the server tray for the upcoming Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tennessee. This is the system slated to knock China's 93 petaFLOPS Sunway TaihuLight system off the top of the supercomputer tree when it goes live. It is slated to pump out a hoped-for 200 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Nov 2017

HPE straps AMD chip into 2P/2U server box with Epyc results

HPE has upgraded its Opteron-using DL385p server with AMD Epyc processors and used it to notch up a pair of record SPEC benchmarks. The ProLiant DL385 is a standard data centre, dual-processor, 2U rackmount, 24-drive bay, chassis, like the Xeon-using DL380. The existing Opteron-based DL385p was classed as a ProLiant Gen 9 box …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017

First XPoint, then Z-NAND: Oh dear, server-makers. SCM is happening

Analysis Storage-class memory (SCM), in the shape of Optane, is already here and, with Samsung's Z-SSD, set to become available for use by servers. What does this mean and when will it actually happen? SCM, also known as persistent memory (PMEM) is a faster version on non-volatile memory, built using Intel/Micron's 3D XPoint media or …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017
HPE_Apollo_2000_Gen10

HPE's Apollo 'Skylaked', will get ARM-wrestling little brother next year

Some of HPE's supercomputer Apollo servers are Skylaked and can now say hello to an ARM-powered infant sibling. HPE's Apollo-related announcements at SC'17 are: Apollo 2000 Gen 10 (G10) Apollo 70 with ARM CPUs Apollo 4510 Gen 10 for object storage LTO-8 tape format drives and library We should note that the Apollo 2000 …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017
red_hat_648
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Red Hat opens its ARMs to Enterprise Linux... er, wait, perhaps it's the other way round

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for ARM reached general availability Monday, underscoring the growing competition confronted by Intel's x86-64 platform in the data center. The corporate Linux vendor first presented a preview of Linux for ARM in 2015, although the software has been in the works for a number of years. Since that …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2017
Syringe key on keyboard

Microsoft, Intel cook kit to secure firmware in servers and beyond

Microsoft's revealed it is working with Intel on a “cryptographic microcontroller” to secure its cloud servers and the many firmware-using components within. Redmond's named this effort “Project Cerberus” and says it is “a NIST 800-193 compliant hardware root of trust specifically designed to provide robust security for all …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2017
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock
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Superdome X gets pumped on Skylake to become Superdome Flex

HPE has upgraded its Superdome X server to use Skylake CPUs, bragging that it's the world's most scalable and modular in-memory computing platform. Superdome is HP's line of mission-critical, highly available servers that used Intel Itanium processors and have moved to using Xeons. The Superdome X takes x86 Xeon E7 v4 CPUs. …
Chris Mellor, 06 Nov 2017

Isilon-owning Dell OEMs Isilon rival Elastifile's flash 'n' trash NAS

Isilon-owning Dell has sealed a deal with Isilon competitor Elastifile to supply the Israeli startup's software, meaning its server agents, Cloud File System and CloudConnect data moving software come bundled with Dell PowerEdge servers. Elastifile's pitch is to have files stored and accessed on-premises from a scale-out, all- …
Chris Mellor, 03 Nov 2017
Kidney stones and a ruler

Hyperconverged infrastructure gets a Hyperbenchmark

The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has released a benchmark for hyperconverged infrastructure. The new TPCx-HCI benchmark is a derivative of the TCP-V benchmark for database performance on virtual machines. The Council's cooked up the benchmark after deciding hyperconverged infrastructure has sufficient …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Nov 2017
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HPE quits cloud servers, two weeks after telling El Reg it wouldn't do that

HPE has quit the business of providing custom servers to big cloud operators. Which may come as a surprise to readers who recall our story from October 5th. In that piece, HPE's Carlo Giorgi told us the cloud server business “... is being re-engineered or engineered to be more fit for purpose. It will still be a tailored …

Huawei dunks server triplets in Skylake for a v5 refresh

Huawei has refreshed three third generation modular rack server products from older Xeons to Skylake processors with a v5 refresh giving them updated networking and storage options. Earlier this year Huawei started the Skylake refresh of its server products, commencing with its E series blade servers – the CH121 and CH242 V5s …
Chris Mellor, 16 Oct 2017
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HPE server firmware update permanently bricks network adapters

Here's a fantastic fail: HPE's July ServicePack for ProLiant servers bricked some network adapters so badly they “must be replaced.” An advisory issued late last week explained that the mess is triggered “when a driver upgrade is performed with … HPE QLogic NX2 1/10/20 GbE Multifunction Drivers for VMware vSphere 5.5, 6.0, and …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Oct 2017
Oracle OpenWorld cloud
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Oracle softly increments SPARC M7 to M8, then whispers: We'll still love you, Solaris, to 2034

With little fanfare, Oracle formally tore the wraps off its SPARC M8 data-center-class processors and servers on Monday. The House of Larry Ellison unveiled the fifth-generation successor to the fourth-generation SPARC M7, along with five server models, and a commitment to support its Solaris operating system for at least …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Sep 2017
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Servers sales are up. Nope, you read that right

In the server sales growth stakes the big Chinese brands appear to be winning the war against their US rivals, at least if Gartner’s latest stats covering calendar Q2 are to be believed. The global market edged up 2.8 per cent year-on-year in revenue terms to $13.93bn as unit shipments climbed 2.4 per cent to 2.82 million …
Chris Mellor, 12 Sep 2017

Geepers, Huawei: New AI-tastic G series servers to hold up 'intelligent cloud'

Huawei has added two G-series boxen with GPU acceleration to its server portfolio, with a focus on AI-type work and video analytics, saying they are going to be used to build a cloud hardware platform. This company's server portfolio includes RH series modular rack servers, X series high-density servers, E series blade servers …
Chris Mellor, 11 Sep 2017

Hitachi rack servers get VMware Cloud treatment

There's some new wine in Hitachi's Unified Compute Platform of converged and hyperconverged server bottles – specifically VMware Cloud Foundation software added to its converged rack-scale (RS) product and Xeon SP processors to its hyperconverged systems. There is no Xeon SP upgrade news for its CB2500 and CB500 blade chassis …
Chris Mellor, 25 Aug 2017
server
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Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server folk. NO! WAIT!

Research has found businesses need to hire more server staff – but they're in limited supply. In the latest Voice of the Enterprise: Servers and Converged Infrastructure study, 451 Research finds that 64.7 per cent of its respondents are wanting to recruit server-focused staff, up from 62.1 per cent a year ago, due to business …
Chris Mellor, 22 Aug 2017
Price rises

HPE memory options rising by double digits... from today

HPE is hiking server memory prices by up to 20 per cent from today, according to communications with the channel, seen by us. The background is that the industry is recovering from a global DRAM shortage and consequently the component has become more expensive. In an email about the changes sent to trade customers, HPE stated …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2017
Rolling_Stones

White boxer is a white racker: Supermicro touts Rack Scale Design

Building servers, switches and storage are a good racket for ODM Supermicro but building Vblock-like rack scale systems is an even better one. It has launched a complete Rack Scale Design system using its server and storage building blocks in standard racks, with multiple rack PODs. Supermicro first talked about its RSD ideas …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2017
z14_detail
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Presto crypto: IBM releases gruntier, faster Z14 mainframe

IBM has launched its latest, newest, biggest, baddest mainframe, the z14 system. It features the next generation of IBM's CMOS mainframe chip technology, with 10-core processors using 14nm silicon-on-insulator technology, and running at 5.2GHz, claimed to be the fastest processor in the industry. Each core has hardware …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2017
Xeon_Skylake_die

Huawei servers hitch ride with Intel's Xeon SP

Huawei has announced a Xeon Scalable Processor conversion of its FusionServer portfolio, with a blade server leading the charge. The FusionServers are moving to a v5 generation, powered by Intel’s latest Xeon SP. Huawei’s server portfolio includes: RH modular rack servers X series high-density servers E series blade …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2017

Server vendors board the Xeon SP party bus

As expected when Intel processors power virtually all x86-class servers, the vendors all hopped on the Skylake Xeon SP party bus. They hope to ride the server update into the market better than each other, and get every last upgrade penny they can pocket. Cray Cray's XC50 supercomputers and CS line of cluster supercomputers …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jul 2017
God of Cloud
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New Azure servers to pack Intel FPGAs as Microsoft ARM-lessly embraces Xeon

Microsoft may have said ARM servers provide the most value for its cloud services back in March, but today it's given Intel's new Xeons a big ARM-less hug by revealing the hyperscale servers it uses in Azure are ready to roll with Chipzilla's latest silicon and will all use Chipzilla's field programmable gate arrays. Those …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2017
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Intel bolts bonus gubbins onto Skylake cores, bungs dozens into Purley Xeon chips

Deep dive Intel has taken its Skylake cores, attached some extra cache and vector processing stuff, throw in various other bits and pieces, and packaged them up as Xeon CPUs codenamed Purley. In an attempt to simplify its server chip family, Chipzilla has decided to rebrand the components as Xeon Scalable Processors, assigning each a …
Chris Williams, 12 Jul 2017

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