in this issue

  • Amazon EC2 Bare Metal Instances with Direct Access to Hardware (Jeff Barr, Amazon)
  • Is parallel programming hard? (Paul E. McKenney via Jon Masters, Red Hat)
  • OpenFaaS Ltd and Patreon campaign (Alex Ellis, OpenFaaS Ltd)
  • Fedora 27 (Peter Robinson, Red Hat / Fedora)
  • Armbian 5.35 (CNXSoft via Mininodes)
  • Pillow port to Arm (Eric Soroos)
  • Ellexus: “Our tools, migrating to Arm and Raspberry Pi” (Rosemary Francis, Ellexus)
  • “Cavium Is Truly A Contender With One-Two Arm Server Punch” (Timothy Prickett Morgan, The Next Platform)
  • Kubecon preview
  • Colophon

Amazon EC2 Bare Metal Instances with Direct Access to Hardware (Jeff Barr, Amazon)

Amazon has announced at their 2017 Las Vegas re:Invent conference that they would be supporting a “bare metal” option for servers. These are Intel based systems with custom hardware, but “We don’t build snowflakes”.

Jacob Smith from Packet writes (in a blog written a few days before the announcement) about his take on the real reason for the

Rumors about Amazon’s bare metal product started percolating last year after the announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS. And while the target market for an AWS bare metal product could be established software ecosystems like VMware that need a “cloud home”, I really think this all makes sense because of Kubernetes.

Kubernetes, and its related cloud native brothers and sisters, represent the Achilles-heel of Cloud 1.0. The vertical “lock you in” model works well when that workload is difficult or impossible to move around, and when the software (like the RDS database service) is superior to open source alternatives. But the promise – and fast emerging reality – of the cloud native ecosystem is that it’s not hard to move, and that open source is moving faster than even Amazon can. It’s built to be hyper-portable from the get go, and has the benefit of the crowd (just ask Quantopian about the power of crowd-sourcing incredibly hard things).

Is parallel programming hard? (Paul E. McKenney via Jon Masters, Red Hat)

Jon Masters writes on Twitter: “This is some of the best holiday reading around.” He is referring to Paul E. McKenney’s new release of “Is Parallel Programming Hard, And, If So, What Can You Do About It?” aka perfbook. It’s a 500+ page college-level academic textbook about parallel programming and how to wring the best understanding out of multicore and manycore systems.

This update includes more formatting and build-system improvements, bibliography updates, and better handling of listings, all courtesy of Akira Yokosawa; numerous fixes and updates from Junchang Wang, Pierre Kuo, SeongJae Park, and Yubin Ruan; a new futures section on quantum computing; updates to the formal-verification section based on recent collaborations; and a full rewrite of the memory-barriers section, which is now its own chapter. This rewrite was of course based on recent work with my partners in memory-ordering crime, Jade Alglave, Luc Maranget, Andrea Parri, and Alan Stern.

OpenFaaS Ltd and Patreon campaign (Alex Ellis, OpenFaaS Ltd)

Alex Ellis has launched OpenFaaS Ltd to support this “Functions as a Service” platform. A Patreon campaign encourages individual donations to support hosting and other infrastructure needs.

Armbian 5.35 (CNXSoft via Mininodes)

Armbian is an operating system for Arm-based single-board computers. Version 5.35 is based on the 4.13.y Linux kernel and v2017.09 of u-boot. “Major update on all stable builds. It’s time for apt update & upgrade to v5.35”

Pillow port to Arm

The Pillow project (“Python Imaging Library”) is working on a port to Arm. Eric Soroos and Alex Clark are project leads.

The Pillow Project is the maintained fork of the Python Imaging Library, an open source library for image manipulation in python.

Resources for the effort will be provided by the Works on Arm project.

Fedora 27 (Peter Robinson, Red Hat / Fedora)

Support for ARM 64 bit (aarch64) Single Board Computers (SBCs) has been one of the most highly requested features along side the Raspberry Pi. It’s something I’ve been working towards almost as long too. Finally with Fedora 27 I felt we would have enough of the bits in place for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Ellexus: “Our tools, migrating to Arm and Raspberry Pi” (Rosemary Francis, Ellexus)

Industry news

“Cavium Is Truly A Contender With One-Two Arm Server Punch” (Timothy Prickett Morgan, The Next Platform)

The Next Platform has a positive story on Cavium’s development of their ThunderX2 processors.

It has been two years since chip maker Cavium rolled out its ThunderX Arm server processor roadmap and gave us the first glimpse of its second-generation ThunderX2 processors. A lot has changed in that time, and Cavium is now sitting in the cat-bird seat of the Arm server market at just the moment that it is merging with rival chipmaker Marvell.

Would Broadcom win over Qualcomm strangle innovation in mobile? (Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune)

Mike Freeman covers the Qualcomm beat for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

If Broadcom succeeds with its bold $103 billion takeover bid to acquire Qualcomm, would it continue the practice of pursuing long-term research on the next big innovation that pushes the mobile technologies forward?

Thanks

Thanks to the following people who contributed this week.

  • Ed Maste, FreeBSD Foundation
  • Jonathan Rippy, NetApp
  • Zi Shen Lim, Cavium
  • Heinz Gies, Project Fifo
  • Eric Soroos, Pillow
  • Rosemary Francis, Ellexus

Colophon

Written with github, chromium, hypriot, raspberry pi model 3b, apple a1243 keyboard with broken left shift key.

Also written with MacBook Pro, Chrome 62.0.3202.94, Github, fully working keyboard.

Coworking at Workantile, Ann Arbor MI, and at Sweetwaters, Ann Arbor MI.

inspired by e.e.cummings “he sang his didn’t”

Newsletter staff

  • Ed Vielmetti (Packet) managing editor
  • Zoe Allen (Packet) editor
  • Thanks to Scott Burns for being the Kernel hacker this week – PRs welcomed!

Office hours

Wednesdays 0900 and 1600 Eastern time. https://packet.zoom.us/my/worksonarm Weekly Works on Arm net, eastern and western editions.

epigraph

 anyone lived in a pretty how town
 (with up so floating many bells down)
 spring summer autumn winter
 he sang his didn't he danced his did - e.e.cummings
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