If you are paying close attention to the growing 64-bit ARM ecosystem you may have already seen yesterday’s press release announcing several milestones for the Red Hat ARM Partner Early Access Program, that was announced in July of last year. While the release talks about the program at a high level, there are several takeaways that may affect the developer community in the near future.

Fundamentally, the ARM Partner Early Access Program was launched to benefit hardware and software vendors that are exploring the 64-bit ARM ecosystem. For hardware vendors, the benefit stems from the development of an open standards-based operating system that is easily consumable by the enterprise end user, driving faster adoption of their technologies. Independent software vendors (ISVs), given sufficient demand, would like to offer software to their customers, regardless of the underlying hardware architecture in their datacenters. Through the ARM Partner Early Access Program, ISVs gain, as the name states, early access to stable and verified hardware and operating system combinations thus creating a potential porting platform for evaluation in response to customer requests to port applications to 64-bit ARM architecture.

Even though it is considered to be the early days of 64-bit ARM technology from an enterprise perspective, Red Hat has already heard from several large customers that are evaluating ARM-based solutions for their datacenters. Those customers are focused on large-scale projects and seek standardization on single open operating platform that they can run across their organization, regardless of the underlying architecture.

So what about developers? Realistically speaking, the 64-bit ARM ecosystem is still in its infancy and lacks the wide variety of hardware and software solutions that developers are used to seeing elsewhere. Therefore, the enablement of 64-bit ARM platforms with an open standards-based operating system brings developers one step closer to having a viable development platform for 64-bit ARM architecture that also has a rich ecosystem of customers and partners.

Even though Red Hat Enterprise Linux does not currently support ARM architecture, Fedora has had support for ARM for the past 2 years. Most recently the support for 64-bit ARM had been added to Fedora 21.

With Fedora developers can start talking advantage of the emerging 64-bit ARM ecosystem right away. Get involved, kick tires and have some fun with development boards available from several of our silicon partners - AMD, APM and Cavium




Last updated: January 13, 2023