WOA Issue 56
In this issue Arm announces Cortex-A76 Running 32-bit Arm code…
FreeBSD is an operating system for a variety of platforms which focuses on features, speed, and stability. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX® developed at the University of California, Berkeley.
A testing release of FreeBSD 12 is now available on the Packet Type 2A servers. This builds on previous work to get FreeBSD running on the Cavium ThunderX SoC, and incorporates work originally done by Wojciech Macek of Semihalf for FreeBSD 11.
This version is not intended for production use, though users of the Works on Arm cluster might find it helpful to test against it.
Dockercon EU 2017 has wrapped up in Copenhagen, Denmark. As always when there is a big conference there is a round of conference-driven development efforts that make for good demos and hints of release products to come.
Docker announced that future releases (targeting Q1 2018) would include both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes as their container scheduling layer. This was perhaps the biggest news of the show, accompanied by very early demos but not yet by releases of running code. By using Docker tooling to manage at Kubernetes cluster, the company would appear to be embracing a whole new community of Docker users.
On the Arm front, Andrew Wafaa of Arm presented on Linuxkit on Arm, demonstrating work that Dennis Chen of Arm has been doing since this summer. The effort is aimed at full portability and system parity between x86 and arm64 for the essential underpinnings of the Docker system, and doing this port exposed a bunch of assumptions about containers and systems that needed to be addressed for true multiarchitecture support.
As noted last week, Docker Swarm had failed to schedule containers onto arm64 nodes with a complaint of “no suitable node available for task”. Some debugging work by Aaron Welch of Packet yielded a solution to this problem in the form of a patch that normalizes the naming used by Docker Swarm to map “aarch64” to “arm64” where it matters.
This is neither the first time nor the last time that variability in naming the arm64 / aarch64 / Armv8 system generates problems downstream. In this case containers reference themselves as “linux/arm64” where as the uname() call returns “aarch64”.
It’s been a busy week for the Works on Arm cluster. Over the course of the week, 54 new Type 2A Cavium ThunderX servers were brought online, finishing up their final burn-in as I type. When all of these servers are released, they will add substantial capacity to the Works on Arm project. These servers differ from the ordinary Type 2A systems at Packet in that many of them only have 32GB of ram, and developers are asked to prepare their CI and test workloads accordingly to test this new configuration.
With the new equipment comes additional capacity to serve projects for Works on Arm. There are 13 projects that have proposed to use the Works on Arm cluster so far, and of these 5 had been stalled waiting on equipment. Of the rest, work will happen over the coming weeks to transition onto these new servers.
The Works on Arm project will be presented to the Arm TechCon event in Santa Clara, CA. This three day event sponsored by Arm has a wide range of presentations, from embedded systems up through data center use of Arm technologies.