Since 1986 - Covering the Fastest Computers in the World and the People Who Run Them

Language Flags
March 16, 2011

SeaMicro Leading the Way Down the FAWN Path

Nicole Hemsoth

This week cloud watcher John Treadway made the argument that the increasingly pervasive Atom and ARM chips are becoming the “ants” of the data center. The analogy is no stretch–ants accomplish great things via sheer numbers versus lone horsepower and are incredibly strong despite their small size.

In his view we are embarking on a new era for datacenters in which these metaphorical “ants will reign supreme and carry on their backs an unimaginably larger cloud than we had ever anticipated. Combined with hyper-efficient cloud operating models, information technology is about to experience a capacity and value-enablement explosion of Cambrian proportions.”

Treadway provides a rich analysis of this “Fast Arrays of Wimpy Nodes” (FAWN) concept and where some companies are heading with this model.

At the forefront of this (re)volution in data center design is SeaMicro, which just released its next-gen SM10000-64, which is based on a dual-core 1.66 GHz 64-bit Atom chip that Intel crafted just for SeaMicro. While others are tackling the same challenges through the low-power army approach on the ARM front (Calxeda, for example), Treadway sees SeaMicro as the leader on the Atom front. 

Not only will the range of devices for ARM and Atoms expand in general (from smartphones to tablets) but the ultra-low power/high number combo will start making a definite presence in datacenters in the coming years. This, in turn, might alter the development of application architectures and furthermore, as Treadway predicts, the model could “eliminate the use of virtualization in a majority of public cloud capacity by 2018.”

Outside of the public clouds, he sees this same trend unfolding in the extended timeframe for the enterprise, but it will take a bit longer.

“The SeaMicro approach represents the first truly new approach to data center architectures since the introduction of blades over a decade ago. You could argue—and I believe you’d be right—that low-power super-dense server clusters are a far more significant and disruptive innovation than blades ever were.”

Full story at CloudBzz

SC14 Virtual Booth Tours

AMD SC14 video AMD Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Cray SC14 video Cray Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Datasite SC14 video DataSite and RedLine @ SC14
Click to Play Video
HP SC14 video HP Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
IBM DCS3860 and Elastic Storage @ SC14 video IBM DCS3860 and Elastic Storage @ SC14
Click to Play Video
IBM Flash Storage
@ SC14 video IBM Flash Storage @ SC14  
Click to Play Video
IBM Platform @ SC14 video IBM Platform @ SC14
Click to Play Video
IBM Power Big Data SC14 video IBM Power Big Data @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Intel SC14 video Intel Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Lenovo SC14 video Lenovo Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Mellanox SC14 video Mellanox Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Panasas SC14 video Panasas Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Quanta SC14 video Quanta Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Seagate SC14 video Seagate Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video
Supermicro SC14 video Supermicro Virtual Booth Tour @ SC14
Click to Play Video