10 March, 2017

Qualcomm, Microsoft to Give Cloud Services a Speed Boost

Yesterday "9th wednesday" Qualcomm announced a collaboration with Microsoft to accelerate next-generation cloud services on the 10nm Qualcomm Centriq 2400 ARM-based platform.

The collaboration will have multiple future generations of hardware, software and systems.

The companies have been working for several years on ARM-based server enablement.

They have been optimizing a version of Windows Server for ARM running on the Centriq 2400, which Microsoft will use in its data center.

Qualcomm made the announcement at the Open Compute Project Summit in Santa Clara, California, where it conducted the first public demonstration of Windows Server on the Centriq 2400.

Qualcomm also submitted a server spec -- the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 Open Compute Motherboard -- to the OCP.

The spec, based on the latest version of Microsoft's Project Olympus, pairs the Centriq 2400 with the most advanced interfaces for memory, network and peripherals, and lets devs design ARM-based servers for the most common cloud compute workloads.

The motherboard fits into a standard 1U rack server system. It can be paired with compute accelerators, multihost network interface controllers, and leading-edge storage technologies to optimize it for specific workloads.

"Microsoft's looking for more efficient compute architecture for Azure, and Qualcomm wants a slice of the [Infrastructure as a Service] business," said Holger Mueller, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.

"When two vendors see synergies, good things can happen, but it's too early to tell how well this spec will do," He said.

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