Data center giant Equinix has announced that the company is leasing bare metal servers equipped with Arm processors. The company already offered x86-based bare metal servers for some time.

The new service is called Equinix Metal and uses Ampere eMAG-processors with 32 Arm v8 cores and a 3.3GHz clock speed. The servers complement the existing offerings of x86 servers.

Unopinionated

Zachary Smith, who founded Packet and is currently managing director of bare metal at Equinix, indicates that the choice to offer Arm servers is made to give customers an ‘unopinionated’ offering. The company wants to offer bare metal servers with whatever architecture customers may need, without imposing any operating requirements.

According to Smith, there is already some demand for Arm servers, but he thinks that will accelerate soon. More and more software is getting optimized for Arm, and companies like Amazon and Apple are also backing the platform.

Packet acquisition

Until recently, Equinix mainly specialized in maintenance and lease datacenters. Other companies can use the datacenters to install and run their own servers from.

Equinix acquired startup Packet in early 2020. Packet specializes in bare metal servers. The company sets up and maintains hardware without any operating system or virtualisation, which customers can then rent and install their own software onto. These kinds of solutions should mainly suit edge computing and IoT applications.

Availability

Metal is currently available in four Equinix locations, but the company intends to expand this number to ten by the end of the year. By Q1 2021, the company expects to have fourteen locations equipped with Metal.