Connecting the Dots at Linaro Connect

Red Hat has long advocated for the importance of cross-industry IT standards, with the intention of enabling ecosystems with broad industry participation and providing a common basis for innovation. Perhaps even more importantly, these standards can help drive adoption of new technologies within enterprises, pushing the cycle of innovation even further along.

With ARM being one of these emerging ecosystems, we wanted to provide a snapshot of a recent event that highlights some of the standards-based work happening in this growing community: last week’s Linaro Connect conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Linaro is the primary non-profit collaborative engineering organization developing open source software for ARM® architecture, and Red Hat is a founding member of Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG). As part of this industry group, Red Hat has helped to drive the development of standards related to 64-bit ARM server architecture, with Red Hat’s ARM team, which just celebrated its 5th anniversary, having worked closely with a number of ARM ecosystem participants, ranging from silicone vendors to independent software vendors (ISVs) to large enterprise customers, to help best craft these common foundational requirements.

As with any effort that requires the participation of many entities, agreement and collaboration take a certain degree of dedication, as well as time. But with enough perseverance, cohesion begins to take shape and what were once disparate dots on a technology landscape begin to connect to form a clear path towards standardized technology. It was this collaboration and cohesion that served as the central theme for Linaro’s recent conference.

We saw the announcement of Linaro Developer Cloud, which brings together hardware platforms from Linaro members AMD, Cavium, Huawei and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. , and will offer a native ARM development environment to enterprise software developers, as well as ISVs.

We’ve witnessed, for the first time, the demonstration of the newest ARM server development platform from Qualcomm to boot and run Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM Development Preview. As this demo showed, it takes less effort to get things working when all ecosystem participants follow a set of standards, such as ARM Server Base Boot Requirements and Server Based System Architecture, and Qualcomm’s hardware platform is an excellent example of this. Not coincidentally, the product of collaboration within the Red Hat ARM Partner Early Access program (PEAP), Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM  was designed with this very purpose in mind – to provide uniform experience across multiple ARM hardware platforms.

We also observed a demonstration of the enterprise edition (EE) development board from 96boards.org running the development preview of our ARM operating system, as well as an announcement of Cello, the newest EE board that would bring an affordable development hardware platform to enterprise developers across the globe at sub-US$300 price point.

In summary, when you see these announcements, ranging from new ARM SoCs, to new and affordable enterprise development boards, to shared ARM-based cloud resources, to come out at the same time, you begin to realize that it is shaping up to be an interesting year for the ARM server ecosystem.

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