The datacenter and cloud ecosystems continue to grow and evolve at breakneck speed, with new technologies being introduced at a high rate. On the software front, open source is the dominant driving force, due to the open and collaborative engineering. Core technologies in the datacenter and cloud, such as containers or hadoop did not exist until relatively recently. With the introduction of ARM64, the datacenter and cloud ecosystem now have highly competitive options for their workloads. Not only competing with alternative architectures, due to a broad adoption by SoC vendors with ARM64, multiple options of SoC’s are offered, providing the ecosystem with choice.

Linaro’s aim in this space is to accelerate the development of foundational open source software for Arm Servers through collaboration. This is achieved through the Linaro Datacenter & Cloud Group (LDCG), which leverages and extends Linaro’s existing shared engineering, legal and open source collaboration structures. This joint collaboration focuses on identifying and addressing gaps/optimizations in the Arm Linux server software ecosystem, enabling SoC support upstream to meet LDCG requirements, agreeing LDCG requirements for SoC software standardization and upstreaming all relevant output.

LDCG manages three lead projects: Server Architecture, Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) and Big Data.

  • Server Architecture enables the foundational technologies for the Arm Server platform, from firmware, server board management, the Linux kernel and other key open source architecture components.
  • Software Defined Infrastructure enables the cloud revolution, and is the fundamental building block for the next generation of the datacenter.
  • Big Data was established as a Lead Project to make Arm64 a first class citizen in the Hadoop and Spark community, as well as a supported architecture for scale-out analytics.

In addition to the Lead Projects, LDCG sponsors three Special Interest Groups (SIG). SIG’s allow for focused engineering effort on specific areas important to the members. Members of LDCG can automatically join any or all of the SIG’s. In addition, non LDCG companies and organisations can choose to join any of the SIG’s.

  • LTNS Linaro Telco & Networking SIG
  • LHPCS Linaro High Performance Computing SIG
  • LSFS Linaro Server Firmware SIG

Enterprise Reference Platform: LDCG on a regular cadence provides a Enterprise Reference Platform (ERP). The goal of the ERP is to provide a fully tested, end to end, documented, open source implementation for ARM based Enterprise servers. The Reference Platform includes kernel, a community supported userspace and additional relevant open source projects, and is validated against existing firmware releases. The ERP is built and tested on Linaro Enterprise Group members hardware and the Linaro Developer Cloud. It is intended to be a reference example for use as a foundation for members and partners for their products based on open source technologies. The members and partners to include distribution, hyperscaler or OEM/ODM vendors, can leverage the reference for ARM in the datacenter and cloud. https://platforms.linaro.org/

Developer Cloud: LDCG leads the initiative Developer Cloud. The Arm architecture Developer Cloud allows members, their partners and the open source communities to implement, port and test server, cloud and IoT applications without substantial upfront hardware investment. Developers have access to popular development environments, such as Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu and RHEL. The Developer Cloud (based on OpenStack) employs Arm server platforms from Linaro members