"If we can get the open source ecosystem rebooted..."
What about the H/W ecosystem?
Like Torvalds said, isn't that a big part of where ARM falls short of Intel?
Packet.net, a bare-metal cloud aimed at developers, has flicked the switch on cloud-running servers powered by a pair of Cavium's 48-core ARMv8-A ThunderX processors. CEO Zachary Smith told The Register that the company's cooked up the cloud for a few reasons. Price is one: Packet will offer ARM cores at a tenth of the price …
I think that if you're just looking for number crunching or high-level stuff, then Torvald's comments probably don't apply. Porting the kernel to a new ARM board isn't straightforward because there's no standard equivalent to the PC BIOS to arbitrate between hardware and OS at boot time. ARM provides reference implementations, but then chip and board manufacturers can go off and make their own proprietary changes. Chip and board manufacturers (eg, Samsung) are often quite antipathetic to free software guys, not wanting to open up the platform unless you pay.
However, we have guys like Linaro (plus other small hardware manufacturers like hardkernel) doing a great job on getting the main components (like boot loader and kernel, and maybe GPU?) working. Once you have that (and we can assume they have this for the board mentioned in the article), as a user you can pretty much forget about it and start thinking about the over-the-top stuff like Docker instances or some sort of parallel/distributed number crunching framework (eg, MPI or Hadoop; unfortunately, OpenCL is a bit sketchy on ARM thanks to vendors not fully/properly supporting it).
Sounded interesting, so took a look at the detail page here:
They have a section "How we compare to others" on there... which frankly is complete bullshit. We already use Rackspace (Cloud), however this packet place is either extremely outdated in their marketing or just frankly lying. Saying stuff like Rackspace doesn't support IPv6 (bullshit), doesn't support NVMe SSD's (bullshit), doesn't support hourly pricing (bullshit).
With that level of dishonesty showing right from the start, there's no way this crowd should be trusted with anyone's business.