AMD Demos Hadoop running on “Seattle” at JavaOne

It’s alive!


Today at Oracle’s JavaOne conference AMD will be showing its first demonstration of Apache Hadoop running on their 64-bit ARM based Opteron A-series chip. This is the first public demo of Hadoop running on AMD’s “Seattle” and follows a series of other enterprise software demos. This is also the first public demo of software running on top of multiple “Seattle” nodes. AMD corporate fellow Leendert van Doorn will be on stage showing off the demo and chatting with Oracle’s vice president Henrik Stahl about their support for AMD’s products and the ARM ecosystem. UPDATE 9/30 6:10 PST: It’s van Doorn not van Doom.

One of the biggest hurdles for AMD to clear as it pushes into the server market with its roadmap of ARM-based processors is the software chasm. To combat the notion that there is no 64-bit ARM software ecosystem AMD has been aggressively demonstrating different pieces of mainstream server software running on its ARM development platform powered by its “Seattle” chip. We’ve seen demos of the Red Hat Linux operating system along with MySQL, PHP, WordPress, and now Hadoop. Most of these applications are available on the ARMv8 platform in part due to the efforts of the Linaro Enterprise Group which is a company funded almost all of the major players in the ARM server space and is dedicated to building an ARMv8 compatible Linux ecosystem.

Comprised of 100 employees and another 100 staff assigned to its development projects from other companies the Linaro group has grown from six founding member companies to 29 member companies at the beginning of this year. With the release of the 3.16 Linux Kernel last month Linaro was ranked as the fourth largest contributor and back July they released a version of Android compatible with 64 bit ARM chips like AMD’s “Seattle”.

For many observers hearing that AMD is showing basic enterprise applications running on its chips is unlikely to evoke much enthusiasm. But for AMD, its critics, and its potential customers the company needs to keep showing off the progress they’re making. Building an ecosystem is hard, just ask Microsoft, but AMD and its partners have made a substantial investment to make the enterprise software world compatible with the 64 bit ARM ISA, ARMv8-A. With production silicon promised for Q4 of this year it won’t be long until we see “Seattle” in the wild.S|A

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Thomas Ryan is a freelance technology writer and photographer from Seattle, living in Austin. You can also find his work on SemiAccurate and PCWorld. He has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington with a minor in Urban Design and Planning and specializes in geospatial data science. If you have a hardware performance question or an interesting data set Thomas has you covered.