Hardware

Mainframe: A Resilient Model for the Modern Cloud

Grazed from SysCon Media. Author: Jose Castano.

Technology is moving at a blistering pace. In today's era of data-centric, complex environments where the lines between business and technology are becoming increasingly blurred, organizations are moving beyond virtualization to cloud computing to meet new challenges and keep up with the pace of change. Critical investments are needed to keep companies competitive, and chief among these technologies is cloud computing. In fact, Gartner expects cloud computing to become the bulk of new IT expenditure by 2016. The bottom line is, if you're not already looking at cloud as an essential investment, you're risking your survival into the next era of computing.

The emerging cloud-based model of computing requires systems that can provide very fast response times to huge volumes of requests. And, mission critical services such as healthcare, finance, transportation, public utilities, and other industries require very high levels of availability, security and other industrial-strength capabilities. Those attributes, qualities and requirements make the mainframe the ideal platform for such mission critical cloud-based workloads...

Hands-on with Canonical's Orange Box and a peek into cloud nirvana

Grazed from Ars Technica. Author: Lee Hutchinson.

Take ten high-end Intel NUCs, a gigabit Ethernet switch, a couple of terabytes of storage, and cram it all into a fancy custom enclosure. What does that spell? Orange Box. Not the famous gaming bundle from Valve, though—this Orange Box is a sales demo tool built by Canonical. There are more than a dozen Orange Boxes in the wild right now being used as the hook to get potential Canonical users interested in trying out Metal-as-a-Service (MAAS), Juju, and other Canonical technologies. We got the chance to sit down with Canonical’s Dustin Kirkland and Ameet Paranjape for an afternoon and talk about the Orange Box: what it is, what it does, and more importantly, what it is not.

First off, Canonical emphasized to Ars multiple times that it is not getting into the hardware business. If you really want to buy one of these things, you can have Tranquil PC build one for you (for £7,575, or about $12,700), but Canonical won’t sell you an Orange Box for your lab—there are too many partner relationships it could jeopardize by wading into the hardware game...

Cloud Computing: Fujitsu 56 Gbps circuit doubles communication speeds between CPUs

Grazed from ComputerWorld.  Author: Tim Hornyak.

Fujitsu has developed a circuit that could double data rates between CPUs in servers and supercomputers.  The receiver circuit can attain speeds of 56 Gbps, Fujitsu Laboratories said Friday, claiming the circuit was the fastest of its kind in the world.  The technology could greatly boost performance in servers, cloud computing and supercomputers, the company said. Research presented by Fujitsu Labs on Friday at the 2014 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Hawaii detailed the innovation.

It uses decision feedback equalizer circuits to compensate for degradation in incoming data signals. By using an anticipatory "look ahead" architecture in the circuit to correct for degradation problems, Fujitsu Labs was able to increase the operating frequency of the circuit and double its speed...

New Solace Message Routers Accelerate Enterprise Applications and Enable Big Data, Cloud and Internet of Things Initiatives

Grazed from PRWeb. Author: PR Announcement.

Solace Systems announced today two new message routers and a major new version of its operating system, SolOS 7.0, that together meet the diverse data movement demands of today's enterprise applications and emerging big data systems, cloud computing architectures and internet of things initiatives.

Each of these systems needs an efficient way to move large amounts of information over different kinds of networks with unique requirements in terms of latency, throughput, guaranteed delivery, fault tolerance and more. Solace's hardware-based platform lets companies replace a wide range of discrete data movement technologies (such as messaging middleware, open source, web streaming, transaction management, WAN optimization, etc.) with a powerful application-aware network. Application aware-networks make it easier and less expensive to move data between applications while offering greater capacity, performance and robustness than other solutions...

Is Hardware Back? Mobile and Cloud Technology Offer Clues

Grazed from CIO. Author: Jonathan Hassell.

If you haven't been living under a rock, you've heard pundits proclaim the death of the PC. As consumers move to tablets and stop buying laptops and desktops, and as companies pinch IT budgets even harder than they have in the past, it's easy to paint a doomsday scenario for hardware. Even the hardware companies play into this myth — look no further than AMD to see weakness portrayed. For many, it seems, hardware has lost its sexiness.

Not so fast. Hardware is back. There are two clear catalysts for hardware in this era: Mobile devices as well as the explosion of cloud computing as a way to host applications, infrastructure and services. Let's unpack the promise of hardware from these two perspectives a little more...

Acer embraces cloud as it transitions away from declining PC business

Grazed from BusinessCloudNews. Author: Jonathan Brandon.

Taiwanese PC maker Acer announced Thursday that the company plans to transition to a “hardware plus software plus services company,” and develop more cloud services to complement its notebooks and desktops. The move comes after weeks of mulling a new strategic direction following several quarters of losses for the struggling PC maker, and will see the company embark on a path taken by its biggest competitors.

Acer said that it will look to combine its strengths in the PC market with new competencies in cloud computing technology, and work quickly towards developing an integrated set of hardware and software offerings in what the company is calling a “build your own cloud” or BYOC approach...

Cloud Computing: Penguin Computing Releases Arctica 3200xl Open Switches based on Broadcom Trident II Chipset

Grazed from BusinessWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Penguin Computing, a provider of high performance and enterprise computing solutions, today announced future availability of the new Arctica 3200xl open network switch based on the Broadcom StrataXGS® Trident II chipset. Introduction of Arctica 3200xl adds 32-port 40 Gigabit Ethernet capability to the Arctica family. Arctica 3200xl also enables up to 96 servers and storage systems to be connected over 10 Gigabit Ethernet to a single Top-of-Rack switch while supporting 40 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks for aggregation. With existing Arctica 4804i, 4804x and new 3200xl models Penguin has a full suite of open switches for High Performance Computing and Internet Data Center applications.

40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GigE) ports available in Arctica 3200xl alleviate I/O bottlenecks in congested storage servers. Used as Inter-Switch Links (ISLs), 40GigE connections aggregate traffic from multiple 10/40GigE Top-of-Rack switches. Arctica 3200xl also offers new high port count 10 Gigabit Ethernet options to support ultra high density rack form factors, such as Penguin OpenHPC™. Multiple Arctica 3200xl and 4804x units can be used to span large non-blocking fabric topologies (Clos networks) to support High Performance Computing clusters. For data center and virtualization workloads, Arctica 3200xl provides wire speed VXLAN functionality to address the management and security concerns in large multi-tenant cloud deployments...

Cloud, sluggish PC market chipping away at Intel’s value, analysts say

Grazed from BusinessCloud News. Author: Jonathan Brandon.

Despite the investments Intel has made in emerging datacentre technologies a research analyst with Macquarie Capital has lowered share price estimates ahead of its Q3 earnings report Tuesday, citing pressures in the PC market brought about in part by cloud computing.

A report penned by Deepon Nag, a research analyst with the financial advisory Macquarie Capital says that cloud computing will likely apply downward pressure to the global PC market, hindering Intel’s ability to grow in market segments that are traditionally strongholds for the chip manufacturer. The firm lowered its estimates from $25 to $22 per share and downgraded Intel from “Outperform” to “Neutral.”...

Cloud Computing: Fusion-io Integrates ION Data Accelerator Shared Flash Solution with Oracle Management & Virtualization Wares

Grazed from PR NewsWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO) today announced that the Fusion ION Data Accelerator all-flash shared storage solution now features integrated support for Oracle Enterprise Manager cloud computing management software and Oracle VM Server virtualization software. ION Data Accelerator software delivers powerful shared storage performance using industry standard server platforms and Fusion ioMemory to provide real-world acceleration for enterprise applications from leaders like Oracle, expediting business-critical information across cloud computing, virtualization, data warehousing, online transactions and business intelligence.

"At Oracle OpenWorld 2013, the focus is on simplifying IT to enable business transformation," said Jeff Treuhaft, Fusion-io Executive Vice President of Products. "As an easily integrated solution for sharing powerful all-flash performance across enterprise applications like those from Oracle, Fusion ION Data Accelerator is an ideal way for enterprises to improve business responsiveness with application performance that gets noticed. The integration of Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle VM support now makes it even more transparent for IT teams to manage the performance provided by ION Data Accelerator throughout an enterprise's infrastructure."...

IBM's New Mainframe Takes On The Cloud

Grazed from NetworkComputing. Author: Tony Kontzer.

IBM unleashed its latest mainframe for the masses, the zBC12, last month. The new mainframe builds on IBM's strategy of providing the technologies companies need to build their own clouds. A sleek beast that IBM says offers a faster 4.2 GHz processor and double the available memory of its two-year-old predecessor, the z114, the zBC12 starts at the same price as the z114: $75,000. For some perspective, IBM's z990, aka the "T-Rex," started at $1 million when it came out in 2003.

Despite that price difference, mainframes figure to be an IBM staple for the foreseeable future. "There's really too much at stake for IBM to let the mainframe die," said John Abbott, distinguished analyst at 451 Research, in an email interview. "It's still at the core of IBM's most profitable business, and still runs the most challenging enterprise workloads at the world's largest companies."...