Conference Schedule - BSDCan 2020

Making Pi ServerReady: time for cheap Arm infrastructure be standards-compliant

Date: 2020-06-06
Time: 11:30 - 12:15
Room: Stream 1
Level: Intermediate

Arm hardware and firmware standards are the foundational pillars for Arm servers, and a major reason for the early successes and continued investment and growth of this horizontally-integrated ecosystem. Non-server "Edge" systems, however, are still an embedded-style vertically-integrated market, which is getting in the way of massive adoption and proliferation of Edge/IoT Compute. So let's make the Edge systems standards compliant and start with the highest-volume and better known platform of them all - the Raspberry Pi! Let's teach the Pi how to boot off-the-shelf SBBR -compliant Linux, *BSDs and of course VMware ESXi-Arm and Microsoft Windows.

Even if you don't care about IoT, getting this class of devices to be standards-compliant will provide developers, tech evangelists and early adopters with $50-$100 ServerReady platforms, solving a real headache today around pricing/availability of systems in the market.

This is a technical presentation (and demo) on VMware's and Arm's joint open efforts to bring Arm ServerReady experiences to the Pi 4 as community-developed SBBR firmware, as part of the larger narrative that SBSA/SBBR is perhaps even more important at the Edge than it is in the Cloud or on-prem. The session covers the history of the Pi UEFI port, current status and technical challenges that remain to be solved.

The point of this session is to build community interest/participation in this effort and other efforts to make Edge systems ServerReady, such as Arm's Project Cassini. If we can do it on the Pi, we can do it on other Arm boards too.



Andrei Warkentin