Sunday, 19th September 2021
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A shot in the ARM for the data centre?

Use of ARM processors set to reduce cost of data centre and cloud operations.

DataCentred says that, in a world first, the company has integrated servers running ARM AArch64 processors into its OpenStack public cloud platform.

This development will enable the innovative data centre service provider to give customers access to 64 bit ARM hardware via a virtualised architecture that can be spun up on demand. Customers will be able to develop applications on an opex model, thereby avoiding expensive and complex setup and entry costs.

The move is also expected to attract businesses and developers who want to take advantage of the cost savings the lower-power chips offer. The emergence of 64-bit ARM processors on servers has huge promise for massive reduction in overall power usage in the data centre.

The development has come as a result of DataCentred's partnership with Codethink, the system level software infrastructure experts. The two companies have been working together since 2014 to deliver multi-architecture OpenStack cloud service infrastructure for customers requiring access to specific architectures to run targeted workloads. Codethink are working with customers who need the advantages of specific chipsets for their chosen applications such as centralized virtualization of ARM devices. Running OpenStack on HP Moonshot servers running ARM AArch64 processors is the first example of this exciting collaboration.

The innovation will eventually drive down the cost of data centre operation and, ultimately, of the cost of virtualised instances within a customer’s service framework. DataCentred’s use of open source technologies already enables it to offer the cheapest UK-owned and operated cloud services. This new development will make the service even more attractive to price-sensitive and environmentally-aware consumers.

Virtualised little endian ARM AArch64 instances using the KVM hypervisor run on top of HP Moonshot M400 ARM hardware, and ARE fully integrated into DataCentred's OpenStack public cloud platform. Customers will be able to spin up both AArch64 instances and x86 instances within the same OpenStack project. Bare metal instances within OpenStack for customers who require big endian support are under development.

Dr Mike Kelly, CEO and founder of DataCentred, said: “We are thrilled to be the first OpenStack public cloud operator to feature 64-bit ARM instances. This breakthrough is testament to the considerable skill and expertise of our OpenStack cloud development team. This is probably the first example of Moonshot AArch64 running in Europe outside of HP’s development labs, and certainly the first example of generally available Moonshot backed AArch64 instances in an OpenStack public cloud anywhere in the world.

"We know that ARM themselves are pleased to hear of this development, as a real world deployment. OpenStack is one of the big success stories for Open Source software, and is likely to be the environment through which enterprise migrates, in a vendor neutral way, to take advantage of elastic cloud compute.”

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