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Freund in June told CRN that about 90 percent of all Linux operating system instances are running on ARM processors, primarily in the mobile device market, and so the types of new applications that will be targeted by Calxeda and its partners will run on the Calxeda servers without the need for recompling them.
Freund cited two primary focuses of the Calxeda Trailblazer Initiative.
The first is Hadoop, a framework for running applications on large clusters built using commodity hardware. Hadoop works by breaking an application into multiple small fragments of work, each of which may be executed or re-executed on any node in the cluster.
The second is the Cassendra open-source distributed database project.
Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and long-time HP partner, said the kind of density that Calxeda is promising with its server architecture could be a game changer.
"It's pretty exciting, when you think about it," Baldwin said.
However, Baldwin said, he does not expect an immediate major impact on Intel's business on HP's channel in part because a big part of the large data center market targeted by Calxeda's servers likely includes companies like Google and Amazon which either purchase servers direct from the vendors or build them themselves.
In any event, the ARM processor will not find it easy to break into the server market, Baldwin said.
"Intel's working on low-power processors," he said. "Everybody is. I don't know if ARM can get enough critical mass... Can they really differentiate themselves enough and get enough volume? When you go into a new market, you have to be number one or number two."
ARM, along with Texas Instruments are strategic investors in Calxeda.
AMD, HP, and Calxeda were unable to respond to requests for more information.