I've long had a personal interest in the energy efficiency of the Ubuntu Server. This interest has manifested in several ways. From founding the PowerNap Project to using tiny netbooks and notebooks as servers, I'm just fascinated with the idea of making computing more energy efficient.
It wasn't so long ago, in December 2008 at UDS-Jaunty in Mountain View that I proposed just such a concept, and was nearly ridiculed out of the room. (Surely no admin in his right mind would want enterprise infrastructure running on ARM processors!!! ... Um, well, yeah, I do, actually....) Just a little over two years ago, in July 2009, I longed for the day when Ubuntu ARM Servers might actually be a reality...
My friends, that day is here at last! Ubuntu ARM Servers are now quite real!
The affable Chris Kenyon first introduced the world to Canonical's efforts in this space with his blog post, Ubuntu Server for ARM Processors a little over a week ago. El Reg picked up the story quickly, and broke the news in Canonical ARMs Ubuntu for microserver wars. And ZDNet wasn't far behind, running an article this week, Ubuntu Linux bets on the ARM server. So the cat is now officially out of the bag -- Ubuntu Servers on ARM are here :-)
Looking for one? This Geek.com article covers David Mandala's 42-core ARM cluster, based around TI Panda boards. I also recently came across the ZT Systems R1801e Server, boasting 8 x Dual ARM Cortex A9 processors. The most exciting part is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. We've partnered with companies like Calxeda (here in Austin) and others to ensure that the ARM port of the Ubuntu Server will be the most attractive OS option for quite some time.
A huge round of kudos goes to the team of outstanding engineers at Canonical (and elsewhere) doing this work. I'm sure I'm leaving off a ton of people (feel free to leave comments about who I've missed), but the work that's been most visible to me has been by:
- Michael Casadevall, Oliver Grawert, and David Mandala (leading and manning the ARM/Server/Toolchain bits)
- Serge Hallyn (hacking on LXC as a container solution on the virt-less platform)
- Chuck Short and Dave Walker (OpenStack, libvirt, qemu ARM support)
- Ben Howard (Cloud images for Ubuntu ARM)
So I'm looking forward to reducing my servers' energy footprint...are you?