x86 on ARM; Benchmark Results for Eltechs ExaGear Server

Eltechs ExaGear Server targets datacenters and cloud providers and enables them to further decrease TCO by running Intel software on power-efficient ARM-based servers. It is reliable, easy-to-use and fast.

But how fast is it? In order to find out we have performed a series of tests. The tests take at look at the overhead introduced running x86 applications through our translator technology and take a close look at the performance implications for CPU intensive workloads, IO and network intensives workloads.

Benchmark Description

For this benchmarking exercise, Eltechs ExaGear on Boston’s ARM-based Viridis servers, we have used GeoBenchmark freely available on http://geocomputing.narod.ru/benchmark.html. This benchmark evaluates a systems capability to perform data processing, and provides a good benchmark to stress both CPU in IO system capability. The benchmark was built for the ARM architecture and Intel 32-bit. Results of ARM-based (or native) tests were compared against Intel 32-bit tests started under Eltechs ExaGear Server.

For both sets of tests same Boston Viridis server was used.

Input and Output

These tests simulate processing modules with heavy disk input & output.

During those tests Eltechs ExaGear Server demonstrated exceptional performance of more than 90% out of native in average.

Multi-CPU

These tests are designed to estimate pure SMP performance and performance of SMP computers on the “memory access sensitive” algorithms. They show how good applications scale in multiprocessor and multithreaded environment.

Results clearly show that Eltechs ExaGear server is super scalable and does not impact parallelism of multi-threaded applications.

 

Conclusions

Eltechs ExaGear Server demonstrated excellent performance, in particular under heavy IO tests with nearly zero impact on performance while running Intel applications on ARM-based servers. This proves Exagear to be an excellent choice for running storage applications, disk and networking intensive tasks in translation mode on ARM servers today.

CPU intensive performance was around 50%. In future Eltechs expected to go as high as 80% out of native performance in average.

Scalability tests clearly showed that Eltechs ExaGear Server is highly scalable. It does not affect parallelism of applications and can be transparently used for respective software.

Taking in to consideration the ease of use, transparency for end users, and the immediate results – the Eltechs Exagear Server provides a real solution for the problem of migrating old legacy applications to ARM in the datacentre.

 

 

Difficulty porting certain apps to ARM? Just run x86 binaries on ARM with Eltechs Exagear

BIOS IT, a leading manufacturer of high performance, low-powered server, storage and workstation solutions, today announced a new partnership with Boston and Eltechs to introduce Eltechs ExaGear Server the world’s first cloud solution which provides the technology to run x86 binaries and applications on the power-efficient ARM®-based Viridis server without having to port or recompile.

Eltechs ExaGear Server provides a fully transparent way of allowing users access to the low power benefits of ARM-based solutions, while being able to provide customers with services that are run on conventional Intel-based software. Moreover, Eltechs’ solution helps ISVs run their Intel-based programmes on the Viridis without porting or modifying the initial software; avoiding any heavy investment in ARM-based hardware and decreasing time-to-market.

Eltechs ExaGear Server virtualisation engine is a “middleware” software solution, positioned at the gap between the x86 application and the ARM­based server (see figure below). Within the Eltechs ExaGear Server the user sees no difference between running native ARM and x86 applications – Eltechs ExaGear Server virtualisation engine intercepts x86 applications from the very start, converts them in run­time into ARM­compatible code using binary translation technology, and executes them. The entire process is easy, and transparent to the end­user.

So how does this work? Take a look at the video below to see the product in action:

Boston ARM Viridis Server Extends Its HPC Capability with Allinea Development Tools

Allinea

2013-07-01,  Warwick, UK – Developers porting and debugging HPC/server applications to the ARM architecture received a major boost with the announcement that development tools from the parallel software tools experts, Allinea Software, are now available on the Boston ARM Server platform.

Boston’s ARM-based server has been designed from the ground up to deliver an incredibly power-efficient and highly scalable platform.  The Boston Viridis servers are based on the low power Calxeda EnergyCore ECX-1000 SoC, with quad-core ARM A9 Cortex CPUs and fabric interconnect. With each 2U chassis packing up to 48 servers, customers can populate over 1000 servers per rack, all interconnected via a high bandwidth low latency interconnect. The Boston Viridis server offers a unique low power, high-density platform ideal for specific HPC workloads.

The Allinea DDT debugger and Allinea MAP performance profiler are extremely scalable parallel development tools that enable more efficient use of resources, whilst reducing the complexity and risk of software development. Developers will resolve software defects quickly using Allinea DDT, and tackle any performance bottlenecks discovered during the scale out to multiple servers with Allinea MAP.

“We are delighted to have Allinea Software join the growing ranks of thought-leaders supporting the Calxeda platform,” said Karl Freund, VP of Marketing, Calxeda, “Clearly, having the leader in scale-out development tools available on EnergyCore will be a big help for anyone porting and testing solutions for ARM-based low power servers.”

Allinea Software’s tools were selected due to their well-known ease of use and popularity in High Performance Computing (HPC) and provide the most capable integrated debugging and profiling tools on the market. Allinea DDT and Allinea MAP are used to resolve bugs and improve application performance for multi-core and multi-process applications, and are the de-facto standard for users of the world’s largest supercomputers.

“This represents a vital enabling step for our customers”, said David Power, Head HPC at Boston Limited, “The availability of tools for this platform makes porting, debugging and profiling a more efficient process. The tools are very well known and respected throughout the HPC community and having them ported to our platform will mean users not only have a familiar development environment, but also access to one of the most scalable debuggers and profilers in the industry. It’s yet another migration from the x86 barrier addressed!”

“Energy efficiency is one of the major challenges facing us all today – and developers are keen to discover the benefits that different processor architectures can bring to the applications that matter to them,” explained David Lecomber, COO of Allinea Software. “By supporting this ARM platform, we are providing new flexible approaches to software developers who are seeking to develop software more effectively by using the right tools.”

 

This blog post has been taken from our good friends over at Allinea. Ref: http://www.allinea.com/news/bid/95028/Boston-ARM-Viridis-server-extends-its-HPC-capability-with-Allinea-development-tools

 

 

 

Interworx and Boston at HostingCon 2013

At HostingCon last week, Boston/Calxeda and Interworx demonstrated the Interworx control panel and clustering technology on a 24 server Boston Viridis system. Ever since the spike in interest from World Hosting Days back in March in Germany (where we had an apache web server farm running), we’ve been working hard to enable hosting providers to create Virids-based offerings. A key part of that is the hosting control panel, and we’re pleased to be working with InterWorx on creating the first control panel compatible with our Viridis ARM servers.

The InterWorx Control Panel is a modern web hosting and linux server management system that provides tools for system admins to command their servers and for end users to oversee the operations of their website. Using the RedSleeve distribution of Linux and one of Boston Viridis 24-server systems, the InterWorx team is now able to launch their software in a 24-node ARM cluster.

Check out the Video from Brett Wiewiora of InterWorx who demonstrates the first control panel compatible with ARM servers on a Calxeda-based Viridis server at Hosting Con 2013.

Viridis server is “…a serious threat to x86 server domination” – ExtremeTech

ExtremeTech have followed up on the Boston Viridis review posted on AnandTech a couple of days ago calling the Viridis and Calxeda ARM server a serious threat to x86 domination.

“After seeing the performance figures, I agree. There’s a place for ARM products in the datacenter”

“ARM server shipments will be fractional for the next few years, but this is the biggest potential challenge to x86′s server monopoly in well over a decade”

Calxeda’s first ARM server is a serious threat to x86 server domination

Full article: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/150664-calxedas-first-arm-server-is-a-serious-threat-to-x86-server-domination

ARM-as-a-Service (for software migration to ARM)

Boston Ltd have recently announced the availability of their ARM-as-a-Service cloud. This cloud enabled dedicated remote access to preconfigured systems with an array of tutorials and videos on how to use porting and tracing tools from Ellexus (Breeze)

 

The service is geared towards users/companies interesting in porting their software to the ARM architecture and Boston offer a wide range of professional services are this cloud offering to train people up on using the tools efficiently.

 

Contact Boston Cloud Sales to arrange a call with a cloud consultant.

Read the full release here

Openstack demonstrated at CloudExpo

At CloudExpo Europe 2013, Boston unveiled their Viridis platform fully loaded and managed with openstack!

London, UK (January 29, 2013). Boston Limited a leading manufacturer of high performance, low-powered server, virtualisation, storage and cloud solutions, is proud to unveil its ultra-scalable Viridis Cloud solution, powered by OpenStack™ and ARM®, at Cloud Expo Europe 2013. For more information and a live demonstration please visit Boston at London’s Olympia on Stand #661.

Read the full release from Boston Ltd.

Addressing the power challenges of Exascale? (whitepaper)

At the machine evaluation workshop in daresbury (MEW), Boston presented on the Viridis platform and put forward some interesting points on how their ARM platform could potentially be a contender as a platform for next generation exascale systems. The whitepaper is available from the Boston website (registration required): White paper: The Boston Viridis ARM® Server: Addressing the Power Challenges of Exascale?

And a quick pic from the show (it didnt take long for people to clean us out of baseballs 🙂