Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the more common questions you may have about our new Viridis solution. If these don't answer your question in full, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.

What operating system is available on the Viridis server?

Fedora 17 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS are the platforms available from launch. There are also additional operating systems being validated, which will be announced in due course.

What workloads and applications can customers run on this platform?

The Viridis platform provides the flexibility to run a variety of workloads, with the majority of the workloads you would see in the traditional x86 server space applicable and able to run this platform. The workloads we see as being most popular on this platform include:

Cloud (openstack)
Scale out web application development. Such as:

  • Applications built on portable or interpretive programming models (e.g., PHP, Ruby, Perl)

Big Data and Offline Analytics
Scale out, parallel applications. Such as:

  • Search Indexing, MapReduce, “Big Data”, Financial & Risk Modeling, Data-Intensive- and single-precision- HPC

Storage / File Serving / Scale out NAS
Applications that require extremely high I/O throughput, not extremely short response time to individual queries. Such as:

  • Media streaming, Content Delivery, No-SQL in-memory databases

What are the main advantages of the Viridis platform?

The Boston Viridis platform is not just an ultra-low power solution – it is revolutionising the data centre with industry leading performance per watt. As we enter a new era in computing, one focussed heavily on maximising efficiency, the Viridis is very much at the forefront of this new wave of computing.

Low Power general purpose SOCs – used in Calxeda’s ARM-based EnergyCard – deliver an order of magnitude improvement in performance-per-watt for the broadest set of workloads.

With each SoC using as little as 5W, this equates to a fully populated server – within a 2U enclosure – consuming a mere 240W plus the overhead of disks (so ~300w for 48 quad core servers). Therefore the lowering of total cost of ownership is definitely the main focus and most effective goal of the Viridis.

However, along with energy savings of up to 90% over traditional x86 platforms, the Viridis also brings large space savings. For example, it would take 400 traditional x86 servers to fill five complete industry-standard racks – whereas you can fit the same amount of servers in just ½ a rack using the Viridis. Offering a staggering 10x space savings!

Will applications written for x86 servers now have to be recompiled? And are there already existing ARM-based applications?

In order to advance the development and testing of the Viridis, Boston has been working with a number of companies, such as Redhat and Canonical. Fedora and Ubuntu now have full repositories of applications available to install with a single command (apt-get / yum install). There are 20,000+ applications already ported over to the arm repositories on these distributions.

However, for anyone who has developed their own applications and/or source code, they will need to recompile this for the new architecture. All the familiar libraries make utilities and compilers are available on the system so it’s a familiar build environment if users need to move their own applications across.

What is the price-range of the Viridis?

The approximate pricing for the Viridis platform is as follows:

  • A fully populated Viridis server – with 48 nodes and 24 drives – is around $50,000
  • The mid-range Viridis server – with 24 nodes and 24 drives – is around $30,000
  • The minimum configuration – with a single EnergyCard and four hard drives – costs around $10,000.

What is the target-market for the Viridis?

The Viridis is very much geared towards the data centre arena, and in general any high performance, power-hungry environment that requires industry leading efficiency while looking to lower energy and cooling costs.

In a recent survey by the Gartner Group, to determine the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012, ultra-low powered solutions such as the Viridis addresses 7 out of the top 10 trends. These include:

  • Contextual and Social User Experience
  • Internet of Things
  • Next-Generation Analytics
  • Big Data
  • In-Memory Computing
  • Extreme Low-Energy Servers

Find your solution

Test out any of our solutions at Boston Labs

To help our clients make informed decisions about new technologies, we have opened up our research & development facilities and actively encourage customers to try the latest platforms using their own tools and if necessary together with their existing hardware. Remote access is also available

Contact us