ARM-Powered Cloud Open For Test, Development Via TryStack


The OpenStack cloud community on Wednesday said several of its members have collaborated to make an ARM server-based cloud available for free test deployments.

That cloud is available through TryStack, which is a free site for testing applications designed using the OpenStack cloud. However, TryStack does not allow production runs of cloud applications.

The move to make ARM-based servers available in a test cloud stems from work from several vendors in the OpenStack community, including server vendors Calxeda and Hewlett-Packard, Ubuntu developer Canonical, and Core NAP, an Austin, Texas-based provider of hosted data center services.

[Related: HP Intros Low-Energy Data Center Platform Based On ARM Servers]

OpenStack, which was founded by Rackspace and NASA as an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud-computing project, currently has over 150 companies participating in the project.

TryStack provides large clusters of hardware running the OpenStack software on both x86 and ARM architectures free of charge to customers looking to try and test applications.

The organization emphasizes it is for test purposes only. "It probably goes without saying that this is not the place for production code -- you should host only test code and test servers here. In fact, your account on TryStack will be periodically wiped to help make sure no one account tries to rule tyrannically over our democracy. Play nice in the sandbox!" the organization warns on its website.

HP, as part of its Project Moonshot, is developing low power consumption strategies based in part on ARM processor-based servers from Austin, Texas-based startup Calxeda.

Karl Freund, vice president of marketing at Calxeda, said customers can run the entire Apache software stack on servers based on the company's ARM processors, including the LAMP open-source stack, Hadoop big data software and the Cassandra NoSQL database.

"Hadoop will be challenging on TryStack," Freund said. "It's hard to get 10 nodes to run it. Running Hadoop on a single node is like one hand clapping. We're talking with Rackspace on how to extend that."

Most people will try C+ or C++ code, or Apache Web server, Freund said. "They'll get it up and running, and see it's fine," he said.

NEXT: Giving ARM-based Clouds A TryWhile HP has until now only developed Calxeda ARM-based servers for development projects and not for production, other OEMs are expected to bring such servers to production users in the next couple months, Calxeda’s Freund said.

"So potential customers can go to TryStack and give it a whirl," he said. "If you like it, you'll be able to buy servers that run the apps in production."

Mark Collier, vice president of marketing and business development at Rackspace and one of the community builders for OpenStack, said TryStack was launched in February as a way for potential developers of technology based on the OpenStack cloud to easily check out the possibilities, develop applications and try out the API.

"People may want to build a proof-of-concept based on the OpenStack environment but want to try it out first before investing in it," Collier said.

PUBLISHED JULY 18, 2012