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Today I'm excited to show off a Google POWER8 server motherboard in the OpenPOWER booth at the Impact 2014 conference in Las Vegas.  We're always looking to deliver the highest quality of service for our users, and so we built this server to port our software stack to POWER (which turned out to be easier than expected, thanks in part to the liitle-endian support in P8). A real server platform is also critical for detailed performance measurements and continuous optimizations, and to integrate and test the ongoing advances that become available through OpenPOWER and the extended OpenPOWER community. (Google, IBM and others formed the OpenPOWER Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing an open ecosystem.
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77 comments
 
Fabulous technology and Google will make it work for them. Way to GO!
 
Great ,
I am extremely excited to see
 
Good chance for POWER to survive the flood of cheap, clouded Intel based servers. Enterprise niche is not enough. POWER has to adopt the same strategy. 
 
So this is what a 192 threaded monstrosity looks like! ;-)

Is the memory on separate boards?
 
What are the "hammock" slots? Memory risers?

I'd expect a lot from this if they're based on TYANs designs. Best workstation motherboards I've ever used where TYAN made.
 
I Have Power 5+ IBM at home - I'm happy to see Power arch will have a chance to survive ;)
 
Please tell me that these are going to be something I can buy in the near future...
 
Am I the only one incredibly bothered by the terribly misaligned slots there? I can't concentrate! I need to align them!
 
whats the print something below the LGA socket on the right?
 
Glad to see Google went with a POWER8, but it'd be curious to see a performance-per-watt comparison with AMD's upcoming A57-based A1100 (8x AArch64 @ 2GHz / 25W)
 
+Juaquin Anderson: Don't know much about PowerPC (the system Apple used) but I've had a number of POWER-systems from IBM. They where running extremely hot. Very solid systems, though.  Apart from being a bit weird (requiring a separate computer to do mgmt and such) they where very nice.
 
+Yves Dorfsman in IBM they run mostly RHEL. I was also successful with Fedora 20. I've also seen Debian on 770 LPAR. But real hot stuff is coming with recently announced PowerKVM which replaces PowerVM and provides support for little endian distros like Ubuntu running in standard OpenStack compliant KVM environment.
 
I'm left with a troubled feeling that there's no ram on this mobd.
 
+Mark Zhitomirski Darn fine question!

I'm going to guess it's either in the black chips in center that [appear to] have been obscured... or it hangs off of the "HAMMOCK" ports?  I'm not sure what HAMMOCK is, but I'm guessing that maybe they've taken elements of the FSB and extended them electrically out through PCIe ports because cheap :P
 
All about open computing, and half the chips are blacked out.
 
Wow I had no idea Google was in the hardward game at this level
 
Nice! How is the hammock design working out? Would love to see the bottom too.
 
..There are 8 of the white slots on the board.

Could they be for the memory controllers and ram?
 
I wonder if they will abandon it like Google tv was
 
I recall when we were bringing up the first 4 thread board.  My how the times have changed :)
 
Awesome! planning to sell as 'Open Computing' solutions?
 
It is nice to see Power arch in such use, hopefully this will also go bit further than just tech demo and early evaluation.
 
How about a "Power8 Pi" board for all us "Hack-a-Day" fans ?  Seriously, I see nothing here that would want to make my company switch away from ARM-64, mostly because there is no "grass roots" following for the Power8 [which is IBM's fault].  Cheers !
 
+marcin steć  PowerKVM does not replace PowerVM, it's available as an alternative virtualisation engine.
 
Does this motherboard mean "trouble" for Intel ?
 
+Gordon MacKean With low latency overheads as a priority these days and spotting CYPRESS_DBG screened onto the mainboard, does this hint at Google's future of adopting F-RAM along with Power architecture, or is it still too early to let the cat out of the bag?
 
But can it run far cry 3?
 
With this Power8 setup, IBM themselves could host a Redhat/JBOSS open source software stack in the cloud instead of intel based solution and create logical partitions for PaaS solutions too (AS/400 etc)
 
Nice looking board! I'd sure love to have a dozen or so :) :) :)
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Blacking out all the chips on the motherboard is not very "Open" thing to do .... 
 
Looking forward to more technical details and use cases.
 
i'm quite sure that many could be interested in a desktop (worstation) version too ;)
 
Can you send me onze, so I van finally finish my high speed routing OS project I was working on my XPC860 ;)
 
How about one in ATX form factor? I would love having a non-x86 workstation again some day.. ever since Sun and IBM ended their respective RISC workstations.
 
And why does Google not make these boards available to the BSD community?
 
A desktop version of Power 8 will be wonderfull. And what about a Laptop version? maybe a dual core or a 4 core version...
I wonder if the comments here can be even considered :(