If you go back further enough in time, you might find some servers running on SPARC architecture, but other than that, only three processor brand types have truly been dominant in the server market. Those are Intel, AMD, and IBM’s PowerPC. Lately, Intel and AMD in particular have dominated the server market with x86_64 architecture. Now, there are two new players in the game, two of which might be a little bit of a surprise: ARM and Nvidia.
ARM is famous for its smartphone and tablet processors, and Nvidia is a household name in the GPU and embedded chip market, but now these companies are set to become competitors in the server hardware market.
Linux operating systems already run on ARM architecture, and one company has already released a server that uses an ARM processor. The processors typically have lower power consumption and can help data centers that are struggling with energy efficiency. Many web applications will still run quite well on these energy-conscious servers, while also saving businesses money.
Nvidia, which already has a foot in the door with graphics processing companies. It has GPUs that can blow away the competition, making it much easier for research institutions in particular to optimize code for graphics processing using GPUs with 600 cores rather than CPUs, which may have only 4, 8, or 16.
So, Should you rush out and get an ARM-powered server? That largely depends on your needs and how much raw power you can sacrifice for greater energy efficiency.
- Low Cost, Low-Powered, Green Servers
- Improving Efficiency with Dedicated Server Architecture
- 32-bit vs 64-bit Dedicated Servers
- A Breakdown of Intel’s Processor Numbering
- The Benefits of 64-bit Operating Systems