Hey Dell! GNU/Linux Runs on ARM servers!

Dell said Are there enough benefits from that architecture for porting your code over to that new instruction set […] and [having to] maintain two different software stacks?

What porting? GNU/Linux already runs on ARM. PHP and MySQL already run on GNU/Linux. Dell is forgetting that any porting costs are a minimal one-time thing but the energy/cost savings last the life of the server. Perhaps they were thinking of that other OS which is just now being ported to ARM. Dell, don’t wait for M$’s vapourware. Sell ARMed servers on price/performance.

Dell is not the only company that has allowed M$ to dictate technology and it won’t be the last but this is the 21st century and there is no excuse for this lack of vision. We have seen it all before.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to Hey Dell! GNU/Linux Runs on ARM servers!

  1. ChrisTX says:

    “However, I could see large hosting providers who support PHP or Python/Django web apps for their customers, benefitting from a wholesale move to ARM.”

    Hosting providers mainly run RHEL. As I said, without Plesk or cPanel that’s not gonna happen.

    As the Dell guy said, if there is a demand for it, it will also happen. However, the question is, is there a demand for it?

    “Imagine how much money Google would save on AppEngine operating costs were they to move to ARM.”

    If they forced customers to run non-standard Java, yes. Otherwise nothing.

  2. They have huge farms, to be sure, but we still do not know whether they can get more processes/MIPS in a rack with ARM. I am sure they will be looking at ARM sooner or later. ARM still lacks 64bitness which could be a problem for large databases.

  3. oldman says:

    This is business Pog? the simple fact is that Server class x86_64 technology runs rings around all of the ARM designs currently in production. When you add to this the fact that the current installed base of commercial Linux applications dont support ARM and that the two major commercial distributions (RedHat and SUSE) dont support ARM, AREm will go nowhere.

    Besodes why would I want an anemic RICS design on a server when I can get a system right running IBM’s IBM Power 7 technology.

    http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/710/browse_aix.html?

  4. Dan Serban says:

    Fair point on the hard to port in-house applications.
    However, I could see large hosting providers who support PHP or Python/Django web apps for their customers, benefitting from a wholesale move to ARM.
    Imagine how much money Google would save on AppEngine operating costs were they to move to ARM. Who knows, maybe they are even considering it as we speak.

  5. ChrisTX says:

    He is obviously not talking about PHP and MySQL. You can run Apache+MySQL+PHP pretty much anywhere, that’s not the point.

    But most companies don’t want MySQL, they need somewhat more up the ladder, and you’ll find you’re going to have a nice time trying to run for instance Oracle’s DB on it. ( Just one example )
    Not only that, Java EE does not run on ARM either.

    Even worse, neither CentOS/SL/RHEL nor SLES/SLED support ARM. Have a nice time finding a vendor that would support you there. Or software that requires either distro (in prop. software market, a lot do).

    Yet, all that wasn’t even what he referred to. If there were considerable ARM advantages for servers, that would appear, no question on that.

    However, current, ie. C/C++ in house written applications would be hard to port. If you’ve got a major application powering a lot of your business, and it doesn’t run on ARM, you can either a) invest the money so it does or b) stay with x86. If the modifications outweight the ARM advantage, it won’t happen.

    Anyway, as far as LAMP is concerned, I am not sure whether either Plesk or cPanel support ARM.

    Currently, ARM is very questionable therefore. As far as Windows -> ARM is concerned, I wouldn’t be so sure we’d see Windows Server as ARM release (even though it would be technically possible, as it’s the same codebase – but Windows 7 wasn’t released for IA64 either).

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