Opera Mini 5 Beta Out– Cranks Up the Mobile Browser Wars

Opera is on a tear recently with the release of Opera 10 and now Opera Mini 5 Beta. Opera Mini 5 is Java-based, so it can run on any phone that supports Java, and it is a solid evolution of the mobile browser. Opera Mini renders web pages on the server side for speed, and has been a good mobile browser since the previous version 4.2.
Opera Mini 5 Beta
Opera Mini 5 cranks things up a notch, with tabbed browsing, speed dial and a password manager.  Opera’s goal with the new mobile version was to bring things more on par with the desktop version, and it looks like it has come a long way toward that goal.
To download Opera Mini 5 just visit m.opera.com/next using your mobile browser. You can also download it on your computer.

HP Finally Boards the Mega Data Center Bandwagon

proliantHewlett Packard (s hpq)  today announced a new line of servers, a data center mapping program and some consulting and financing services aimed at companies that build out mega data centers. Potential purchasers of the new HP machines include those building cloud computing offerings and enterprise customers trying to build their own clouds or high-performance computing clusters.

Problem is, HP is late to the mega data center party. Read More about HP Finally Boards the Mega Data Center Bandwagon

On the Block: SiCortex’s DeLorean-Style Green Supercomputer

high_capability_system_sc5832SiCortex, a company that makes a green supercomputer using proprietary chips and some “Back to the Future” styling, is seeking to sell its assets by the end of June. (Check out what’s for sale here.) According to a story at HPCwire, SiCortex was seeking a third round of financing (it finalized a $37 million round last September), but one of its five venture backers pulled out. I called SiCortex CEO Chris Stone to get more information, but have not heard back.

Reportedly, the 5-year-old company was doing well, but in these hard economic times, it’s possible that a cash-strapped investor just couldn’t front SiCortex the money to continue. EETimes reported a similar capital crunch leading to the closure of video processing chip firm Ambric last November. However, there may be an industry trend working against SiCortex as well. Read More about On the Block: SiCortex’s DeLorean-Style Green Supercomputer

Why You Should Care About Intel’s New Server Chip

151569Intel (s INTC) today unveiled its latest and greatest Nehalem chip for servers (now known as the Xeon 5500 series), setting off a round of announcements and articles comparing technical specifications across server vendors. And at 2.93 GHz (with certain tweaks it can get up to 3.33 Ghz), indeed, the chip is screamingly fast. Which is all well and good, but if you’re still unclear as to what all the fuss is about, we’ve broken down for you three areas where Intel’s Nehalem chip changes the game. Read More about Why You Should Care About Intel’s New Server Chip

Rackable’s New Servers Like It Hot

cloudrackc2_tray_doubleRackable (s RACK) announced today an update to its CloudRack servers. The CloudRack C2 servers can run at 104 degrees inside the data center, and they offload power supply to the rack to reduce energy wasted in converting AC electricity from the wall to DC electricity used by the box to 1 percent. Since these beasts can pack 1,280 cores, or 320 processors, into a rack, they’re not exactly in the power-saving category, but the design ensures that the electricity is going to power the processors rather than lost as heat or waste. Read More about Rackable’s New Servers Like It Hot

How Google Is Influencing Server Design

As the need for fast, large-scale computing to power sites like Facebook or even computing clouds has grown, manufacturers such as Rackable Systems (s RACK) are taking notes on server design from Google (s GOOG), which builds its own systems. The goal of their mimicry is to provide more computing power in a smaller form factor while using less energy.

An article in EEtimes today details the emergence of these Google-inspired servers, which include features such as heat-tolerant processors to save on cooling costs, a focus on motherboards containing 12v-only power supplies for servers, putting two servers on one board and stripping out unnecessary parts.

These are all ways Google apparently modifies its boxes to deliver information faster and more cheaply. Read More about How Google Is Influencing Server Design

SC08: The New Data Center Conference?

sc08blackbackgroundThe folks in charge of the SC 08 conference being held in Austin, Texas, this week have trumpeted the phenomenal growth of the supercomputing show, with attendance up by almost 10 percent from the previous year, but I’m beginning to doubt that high-performance computing is driving this growth as much as the broad changes in the data center world. As Ori Aruj, CEO a GM of switch chipmaker Dune Networks, told me when I asked why he was at the show, “This is no longer about high-performance computing and research. This is now a data center conference.” Read More about SC08: The New Data Center Conference?

Exclusive: First Look Inside the HP POD Data Centers

I traveled down to Houston today to check out a data center geek’s version of paradise — the inside of the factory where HP builds their rack-mounted servers and high-value blade systems. I shot plenty of photos that show how a bunch of chips and boards gets assembled into a blade that I will put in a later post, but I also got to take a tour of the inside of HP’s containerized data center, known as a POD. “Tour” isn’t really the right word, since it’s hard to move around inside the 40-foot shipping container filled with racks, but it was pretty sweet to see all that processing power in one place.

I’ve embedded a three-minute video below with Wade Vinson, a thermal engineer with HP, and pasted a few photos of the outside of the factory. HP isn’t the only company filling shipping containers full of servers to save power and space; Sun Microsystems and Rackable are doing it as well. And IBM and Dell have indicated that they plan to get into the market as companies seek to place computing in remote locations or build out their data centers rapidly.


HP Weds Cloud and High-performance Computing

While it hasn’t yet decided to offer a cloud computing service, Hewlett-Packard today said it will combine its high-performance computing unit with it’s Web 2.0 and cloud computing infrastructure businesses to create the Scalability Computing Initiative, a name that will refer both to a business unit of HP and a set of hardware, software and services tied to scalable computing.

It also followed its competitors and introduced what HP believes will be the building block for the scalable data center, a new, two-in-one blade server. Like IBM’s iDataPlex, Sun’s Blackbox and Dell’s cloud computing efforts, HP is viewing the noise around cloud computing as a chance to sell more hardware — specialized, HP-built 10u racks of 32 blade servers containing 128 cores, to be exact.

I don’t know how important it is to build out scalable computing efforts with IBM’s iDataPlex or HP’s offerings rather than an array of commodity x86 boxes, but the merging of high-performance computing and cloud computing infrastructure is a triumph of the grid architecture running specialized software. It’s also the same trend that is leading Cray to work with Intel on designing the next generation of supercomputers. Read More about HP Weds Cloud and High-performance Computing