Comms chips

AppliedMicro Notches Open Server Allies

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (Nasdaq: AMCC) and Vapor IO say they are working together to port the latter's Open Data Center Runtime Environment (OpenDCRE) on the former's 4-node OCP compliant 2U X-Gene 2 server platform.

The server platform integrates AppliedMicro's X-Tend interconnect technology, which connects different generations of X-Gene SoCs enabling all scale-out and most scale-up applications, the company says.

OpenDCRE was created to be an alternative to the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) standard, which is getting long in the tooth. Vapor IO and Applied Micro propose to replace this basic server hardware management with open source, freely available software and hardware, combining a RESTful application program interface (API) endpoint and software infrastructure with open hardware for communication with sensors and data center equipment.

It runs on the standard Raspberry Pi single-board computer and further enables the automation of data center infrastructure by providing a common platform for infrastructure communications. The platform can be used for any type of data center environment and deployed in single-tenant environments, including private cloud or managed hosting environments, or in multi-tenant environments, such as colocation facilities and the public cloud, according to the two companies.

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Vapor IO contends OpenDCRE is superior to proprietary orchestration and management solutions for several reasons, notable among them the elimination of the need for the out-of-band management network (by using the DC bus bar as the communication channel) and for cabling and any proprietary software licensing. That alone saves thousands of dollars per rack, the company claims.

The OCP compliant X-Gene based server platform allows improved scaling between servers and more cost-effective and power-efficient deployments of dense clusters, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership.

"AppliedMicro's hardware platform offers amazing raw performance and workload flexibility and their selection of OpenDCRE will benefit the entire open community, while offering a serious alternative to incumbent, proprietary solutions," says Cole Crawford, co-founder and CEO of Vapor IO.

"We are excited to introduce the first ARMv8-A 64-bit OCP compliant high density compute platform using X-Gene," says Kumar Sankaran, associate vice president, software and platform engineering at AppliedMicro. "The platform developed in partnership with Vapor IO demonstrates OpenDCRE which provides a robust and secure way of controlling and monitoring data center and IT equipment."

Units are currently sampling to customers.

Separately, AppliedMicro says that Wistron Corp. will use its X-Gene 1 server CPU for its X5 multi-services 5U chassis platform design.

The two companies co-developed the X5 Server platform, featuring X-Gene's 64-bit ARMv8-A microarchitecture. The redundant 5U chassis platform is OCP compliant and offers several configuration options to support both compute and storage intensive applications.

The X5 is a rack-mountable server system with a 10GE backplane that can support up to five compute node trays, each with four X-Gene CPUs, for a total of 20 compute nodes per chassis. The platform can also support five storage trays with one X-Gene CPU and either ten 3.5-inch hard disk drive (HDD) bays or 16 2.5-inch HDD bays per tray, enabling either 50 or 80 HDDs in a single chassis platform configuration.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

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