The Rise of 64 Bit ARM Chips in Servers

It was only a matter of time before the new 64 bit ARM chips found their way inside of data centers all around the world. HP announced that they would be shipping their HP ProLiant 400 server series equipped with 64 bit ARM chips in late September 2014. Analysts expect that these low end servers will be used inside data centers that host large-scale public and private cloud deployments.

When you look at the numbers, it makes sense that organizations are looking for alternatives to the traditional x86 server architecture. The traditional chips use around 90 watts of power while ARM chips use between 10 and 45 watts. The savings can multiply tremendously based on your organizations requirements. Some organizations have begun ordering modular datacenters to perform sophisticated tasks. A modular datacenter equipped with 64 bit ARM based servers could cost an organization nearly 50% less in utility costs versus using x86 chips. This number could represent a huge cost savings for an organization’s bottom line.

These numbers have made CIOs take a second look at implementing ARM chips within their data centers. Many of the world largest organizations such as Facebook have already begun using these types of servers within their environments. Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell, recently mentioned “As ARM moves to 64-bit it becomes much more interesting; If ARM works well and costs less, we’re happy to use ARM.”

ARM: From Mobile Devices and Tablets to Server Hardware

ARM chips rose to prominence due to the fact that mobile devices and tablets needed to provide longevity to the user without constantly asking them to recharge their batteries. These chips have become popular over the past couple of years and the natural progression of these chips have led this lineup to evolve from mobile to enterprise service architecture. ARM 64 bit chips becoming accepted by most vendors including Microsoft, who has promised an upcoming Windows Server release that will be specially tailored for the ARM 64 bit microprocessor line up.

Intel undoubtedly owns the server microprocessor market and they won’t be giving up their grip to ARM anytime soon. While more organizations look for ways to reduce power costs and streamline data center efficiency, Intel isn’t worried about the low cost, low power consuming chips. In fact, Intel recently entered into an agreement to manufacture ARM based chips thus giving the micro processing giant a stake in the direction of the emerging low power, low cost 64 bit ARM micro processor.