Last week ITQ visited the North American version of the annual Cloud Foundry summit in Boston. What a welcome with snow on the tarmac and lots of rain.
Good thing it stopped raining at some point, and there was some beer.
This event was special for us for a number of reasons. First of, this was the first event since we became a Cloud Foundry Foundation member.
Yes here we are
Second, we did a little bit more than just attend as we also presented the prototype of our experimental version of Cloud Foundry which is able to run workloads on ARM processors (vs. the typical Intel x86 based CPUs). We did a live demo of cf push-ing an app to a Raspberry Pi worker.
Our Raspberry PI cloud
Of course picking the Raspberry is a gimmick, but there’s a serious reason for the ARM port: ARM chips require much less power for the same performance than traditional server chips. Most battery powered electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, satnav, etc. are ARM based to extend battery life, but some supercomputers are also ARM based, as the performance limit in datacenters is often imposed by the cooling capacity.
In MareNostrum in Barcelona, a supercomputer in a former church, 1⁄3 of the racks are ARM based
Technically, there’s a lot to it, we had to create an out-of-band IaaS for Raspberry Pis, create our own base OS (stemcell) and compile everything to 32 bit ARMv7 – thereby uncovering countless hardwired Intel x86 assumptions in the Cloud Foundry codebase. My colleague Christiaan Roeleveld wrote a number of posts where he details what we did to make this happen.
We are already thinking about the next step: moving from consumer to enterprise ARM servers.
The session at CF Summit: