Power cut in central London today – Quick, get down the shop and get more AA batteries!

Power Cut!

We were in with some customers today around Liverpool Street in central London when there was a power cut (link). Initially we just thought the building was out of action but shortly afterwards we realised all the traffics lights and services in the area were in trouble too. We were all rendered useless without email and web access as the visitors wifi access point was one of the first victims of this power cut (Worrying how dependant we have become!). Desperate times, desperate measures, so we decided to relocate to the nearest watering hole (which was packed for that time of day!)

The events of the day got us talking about UPS protection and how long a server, data-centre and even are area could survive on UPS protection. One of the customers who joined us runs a company data-centre and he commented that theres about 40 minutes worth of UPS protection which protects their critical infrastructure….

The power cut began around 3pm and power was restored around 8pm. Our poor customers data-centre began it clean shutdown 4hrs20mins before power was restored! Around 3:45pm, I suggested they should have been running our ARM Viridis servers in their data-centre. The local sys admin grunted and sighed. Restoring the company infrastructure from scratch was a job that was going to take some time.

What if they had been using our ARM Viridis Server?…

I didn’t have numbers for the UPS but lets assume something along the lines of a 3000VA UPS (link). This would last for 40 minutes at about 1500w. Lets also assume the servers were running at 100% load (for ease of calculation rather than typical use case), we would have 8.5w for a Viridis server (link) or 390w for a E5-2680 server (link, ref Table1)

Servers Type # of Servers/Cores Power Consumption Lifetime on UPS
Intel E5-2680 4 servers / 64 cores 1560w 38.4mins
Viridis Cortex A9 180 servers / 720 cores 1530w 39.2mins
Viridis Cortex A9 16 servers / 64 cores 136w 441mins / 7.3hrs

So an equivalent number of ARM cores would have survived on the company UPS! Shame it took a real power cut to realise this..

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.

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 🙂

Boston Gearing up for ISC 2012

Boston is starting to gear up for ISC next week at Hamburg Conference Centre, 17-21 June 2012. The highlight at the Boston stand (#516) is the official launch of the Boston Viridis product, designed in partnership with Calxeda.

There will be a live running cluster of ARM SoCs in a Boston Viridis solution and further Viridis systems will be available to view at the Calxeda stand (#410).

Visit Boston Limited @ ISC2012 to be amongst the first to experience this technology.

Continue reading