Andrew Feldman, CEO of AMD’s SeaMicro, made a presentation that announced the company’s Data Center Computer Platform this afternoon in San Francisco. The SM15000 Server Platform
is optimized for big data and the cloud. The company claims that they have been able to reduce power dissipation by half and have been able to supply Storage Area Network functionality at Direct Attach Storage pricing through coupling data storage through a "Freedom Fabric"
switch.AMD announcing Intel-based products. Yes, that's exactly what happened.
Storage Proximity is Key
Unlike the industry standard model, where disk storage is located remote from processing nodes, SeaMicro has worked out a networking switched fabric that connects servers to the 'in rack' disk drives and is extensible beyond the SM15000 rack frame allowing construction of cumulatively very large systems. What Freedom Fabric is about - Reducing the cost and increasing the performance of Server Storage
Closely coupled storage to compute nodes reduces latency directly accelerating computations producing better benchmarks – which, oddly enough, were not part of the presentation [BSN* will follow up with performance figures as they become available].Three S hide the reason why AMD acquired the company: "SeaMicro's Secret Sauce"
The company is in discussions with HP and Dell as potential partners in establishing the Open Fabric model as a de facto industry standard.Packaging, Main Memory and Storage
AMD SeaMicro is the only single socket server supporting 64 GB of onboard DRAM. Combined with attention to power efficiency facilitates throughput in highly virtualized environments. The company support of both AMD and Intel processors indicate the company’s realistic market approach. In fact, it appears that SeaMicro is better at designing single board servers than is Intel.Yes, you are reading it correctly - AMD claims it created the most efficient Intel Xeon server ever built
Disk storage maxes out at 5 PetaBytes per single SM15000. Either hard disk drives or solid state drives can be use though the maximum load is derived by the use of HDD. Performance deltas between the two storage types will be interesting – BSN* will follow up on these numbers as they become available.Comparing the SM15000 - Opteron Codenamed Seoul (Piledriver CPU architecture) versus the identical with Intel Xeon "Ivy Bridge". AMD is not playing favorites, but it is capable of delivering higher memory density.
Feldman stated that the company manufactures over 85% of their units in the U.S. and Canada. When asked about whether an ARM processor would appear in their roadmap he replied that the Cortex-A9 core just did not stack up though the new core [64-bit ARM v12, 12th Generation architecture - to be introduced in 2014] might be interesting.Availability
Sandy Bridge equipped models are available now. AMD Opeteron and Intel Ivy Bridge models will be available this Novemeber. A minimum system consisting of the 64 Opterons, 8 disks and 16 1GigE uplinks starts at $139K.BSN* Take
Many in the analyst community were skeptical about AMD’s prospects when they acquired SeaMicro in February. That skepticism has now vanished with the SeaMicro announcement. Why SeaMicro matters - density is the key in the enterprise, and SeaMicro value proposition looks unbeatable (for now)
SeaMicro has integrated the server down into a small form factor format while at the same time changing the storage paradigm to one that situates the memory in close proximity to the compute node elements through and extensible switch. We think this is a fairly innovative approach that will become the lead in the next generation of big data servers.
SeaMicro has set the stage for what we believe will be explosive growth. They are now a "Must Watch" company…
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