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AMD Updates SeaMicro Cloud Server with Ivy Bridge Xeons, Piledriver Opterons

By Pedro Hernandez (Send Email)
Posted September 11, 2012


When it comes to delivering next-gen servers for Big Data and cloud computing, AMD isn't letting its rivalry with Intel get in the way of new product.

AMD this week announced the SeaMicro SM15000 server, a system that packs up to 64 AMD "Piledriver" Opterons or 64 Intel "Ivy Bridge" Xeon processors. By consolidating a hefty amount of computing power and storage into very little rack space (10U), SeaMicro's power-optimized dense server design is meant to address not only the growing demand for cloud infrastructures but also the energy requirements to keep them afloat.

And for AMD, which continues to struggle in the face of intense competition from Intel, SeaMicro is the company's ticket to the bubbly cloud data center market.

Earlier this year, AMD acquired SeaMicro for $334 million in a bid to establish a foothold in the white-hot cloud infrastructure market. A strong presence in the data centers of Google and Mozilla, SeaMicro's server technology used Intel chips and a proprietary interconnect fabric tech now called Freedom Fabric that aims to knock down the performance barriers between compute, storage and networking.SeaMicro SM15000 Server

AMD is keeping the tradition alive in announcing the new SM15000.

SeaMicro SM15000 Server Details

One SM15000 chassis can accommodate 64 quad-core 2.5 GHz Intel Xeon "Ivy Bridge" processors (E3-1265Lv2) for a total of 256 cores per system. This time around, buyers can opt for AMD's silicon, in the form of up to 64 of the company's new eight-core Operton "Piledriver" processors — available at 2.0, 2.3 and 2.8 GHz — for a total of 512 cores per SeaMicro server.

An AMD SeaMicro SM15000 server supports up to 4 terabytes (TB) of RAM — 64 GB per Piledriver processor — and up to 64 SATA drives. Network connectivity is provided by up to (16) 10 GbE ports or up to (64) 1 GbE connections. Freedom Fabric Storage expandability provides scaling for up to 1,408 solid state or hard disk drives.

The result is a system that, according to AMD's Andrew Feldman, Data Center Server Solutions group corporate vice president and general manager, can anchor Big Data processing platforms and should give cloud services providers a reason to look beyond traditional server architectures.

"The rise of virtualization, cloud computing and big data require a new generation of compute in which networking and storage are equal partners in the solution. This does not fit the mold of traditional servers," Feldman said in a company statement.

Feldman added, "The SM15000 system removes the constraints of traditional servers and allows data centers to expand compute, networking and storage independently. By supporting the newest generation of processors, the SM15000 server will continue our tradition of being the highest-density and most power-efficient micro server in the market."

Intel "Ivy Bridge" Xeon-based SeaMicro SM15000 systems are available now. The AMD "Piledriver" Opteron version of the system will ship in November.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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