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


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.

Centerton-based HP’s Moonshot “no match for Calxeda’s EnergyCore”

Following their recent review of the Boston Viridis, Anandtech have had their hands on HP’s new Moonshot ‘Microserver’ system based on Intel’s Centerton Atom CPUs and have drawn some interesting comparisons against the Calxeda architecture used in Viridis:

It is simple: even at 2 GHz, the Atom S1260 is no match for Calxeda’s EnergyCore at 1.4 GHz. The EnergyCore is the better server chip thanks to out of order execution, a 4 times larger L2-cache (4 MB) and the fact that it can offer 4 real cores.  Even if we assume that the 2 GHz Atom S1260 performs 8% better thanks to its higher clockspeed, it is no match for Calxeda’s EnergyCore. Continue reading

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

Linux Format Review

Our friends over at Linux Format put the Viridis server through its paces and it featured in the Christmas release of their mag Issue 165.

The Raspberry Pi isn’t the only ARM-based computer to be upsetting the status quo. At the other end of the scale, another British firm is packing ARM processors into rack-mounted servers.

Read the LXF Viridis Review

If you havent already got a subscription (shame on you!), you can subscripe here

Viridis – New 144TB Platform

Boston are delighted to announce new additions to the Viridis familiy! At SC12, Boston announced two new 4U additions to the Viridis range that can be configured with up to 36x 3.5″ or 72x 2.5″ drives.

With the industry’s most comprehensive range of ARM-based servers, the Boston Viridis platform is available as both a 2U high density compute platform or 4U storage platform. Each of these Viridis units contains up to 12 quad-node EnergyCards with built-in Layer-2 networking, providing up to 192 cores and 48 nodes per enclosure. The 2U compute system can be configured with 24x 2.5″ drives (SATA/SSD) and the 4U storage platform configured with 36x 3.5″ drives, providing up to 144TB per enclosure. These low power high density solutions allow for configurations of up to 1000+ servers per rack or ~1.5PB of storage per rack, providing customers with industry-leading power, space and cost savings.

Read more about this on the boston.co.uk website.

What is an SoC? Hint: the “S” stands for Server

The acronym “SoC” generally refers to “System on a Chip”. But with SoCs entering the server space, it is also taking on a new meaning: “Server on a Chip”. An SoC is a large scale integration of processor cores, memory controllers, on-chip and off-chip memories, peripheral controllers, accelerators, and custom IP (intellectual property) for specific applications and uses. As Moore’s law continues, chip process geometries shrink, allowing more transistors to reside on the same area of silicon. Traditionally, server processors have used this new real estate to add more cores. But there are better alternatives than just adding more cores for certain applications.

Continue reading