ARM Ecosystem Collaborates to Deliver Initial Server Platform Standard

Accelerates data center software development for ARM-based servers

CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom — (BUSINESS WIRE) — January 29, 2014 — ARM® today announced the collaborative development and immediate availability of a platform standard for ARMv8-A based (64-bit) servers, known as the ARM ‘Server Base System Architecture’ (SBSA) specification. This effort included input and support from software companies such as Canonical, Citrix, Linaro, Microsoft, Red Hat and SUSE, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Dell and HP along with a broad set of silicon partners. This specification provides a framework for the deployment of innovative ARM architecture-based solutions in data center applications, and it will help accelerate software development and enable portability between ARM-based platforms. This specification is focused on aligning the ARM partnership around key system elements; empowering the ecosystem to build differentiated, value-added solutions that accelerate innovation and choice in the marketplace.

Data centers demand standards-based software and hardware offerings to ensure ease of deployment and manageability. Releasing the SBSA specification marks the beginning of a broader standardization activity that will simplify the development and deployment process for the entire developer ecosystem – from silicon to software, and all the way through to end-users. This initiative will accelerate the software ecosystem for ARM-based servers by providing operating system vendors (OSVs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) the ability to deliver technology that addresses the entirety of the ARM server community, featuring a rich, broad set of devices and platforms in a common way.

“As ARM’s data center ecosystem continues its rapid growth, this milestone enables partners to focus on their innovation while building on standards that help simplify their development and accelerate their time-to-market," said Mike Muller, chief technology officer, ARM. "As owners and stewards of the ARM architecture, we are pleased to collaborate with other industry leaders to drive standards that enable OS, firmware and software developers to rapidly develop and deploy on ARM-based servers.”

“We are extremely pleased to see ARM take these steps, which we believe are very much in line with the principles of the Open Compute Project,” said Frank Frankovsky, president and chairman, Open Compute Project Foundation. “These standardization efforts will help speed adoption of ARM in the datacenter by providing consumers and software developers with the consistency and predictability they require, and by helping increase the pace of innovation in ARM technologies by eliminating gratuitous differentiation in areas like device enumeration and boot process.”

Mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving the rapid adoption of cloud-based services, and data center operators have to adapt to the shifting characteristics of these new workloads. In order to efficiently meet these demands, the industry is seeking a richer choice of targeted solutions where software portability and standardization are key deployment considerations.

ARM Partner Quotes


“Adopting industry standards and defining base platforms are essential for creating a healthy ARM-based 64-bit server ecosystem,” said Dr. Leendert van Doorn, corporate fellow and corporate vice president, AMD. “AMD is excited to have worked with ARM on the Server Base System Architecture requirements, and the public release of this specification will accelerate the adoption of ARM-based 64-bit servers.”


“With X-Gene as the first product in the industry to be SBSA compliant, AppliedMicro is in full support of the ARM server standardization efforts,” said Dr. Paramesh Gopi, president and chief executive officer, AppliedMicro. “Bringing together OS vendors, server OEMs and silicon providers to work cohesively is providing a fully inter-operable standard platform at the same time fostering innovation resulting in compelling server solutions.”


“Broadcom strongly believes in the value of standardization and ensuring software interoperability for the long-term success of the 64-bit ARM architecture,” said Ron Jankov, senior vice president and general manager, Processors and Wireless Infrastructure, Broadcom. “With the ARM 64-bit architecture, Broadcom is uniquely positioned to provide leadership in the 64-bit ARM ecosystem with server-class CPUs, best-in-class hardware acceleration, and data-center networking expertise.”


“ARM-based servers have the potential to transform the datacenter ecosystem back into a dynamic, innovative market,” said Christian Reis, vice president, Hyperscale Computing, Canonical. “We see the SBSA effort removing barriers to adoption by providing a framework for system implementation that any technology supplier can easily understand and follow. Canonical fully supports this effort and is committed to SBSA compliance for our Ubuntu Server product family.”


“Cavium's Project Thunder will provide a family of multicore ARMv8 64-bit server-class processors for the cloud and data centers,” said Gopal Hegde, vice president and general manager, Data Center Processor Group, Cavium. “Working closely with ARM and the ecosystem, the Thunder product offering will provide a comprehensive workload optimized portfolio solution that will be interoperable across multiple management and orchestration standards. We applaud ARM's leadership in spearheading the Server Platform Standard that will accelerate the adoption of the ARM architecture in the data center and cloud environment.”

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