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AMD servers? It sounds right to me

Image from Tom's Hardware

Intel Inside? no… AMD inside and out.

I’ve always been a fan of AMD since my white-box system builder days a decade ago. It’s hard not to root for the “little guy” and the only reason they are considered so is because of the domination Intel has had on the processor market.  I remember the first Athlons, Durons, Semprons, Opterons.  I remember AMD giving Intel a run for the money in the early 2000′s.  A wake up call to Intel that has since used its innovation and marketing muscle to beat AMD at its own game.

Now, AMD is hoping to grab back some share moving into the server biz with their acquisition of Intel partner SeaMicro. PC World put together a nice article describing the transaction and the strategy AMD hopes to execute leveraging SeaMicro’s innovations in providing lower power, higher density servers.

Why the move? One word:  cloud.

The cloud is not only a disruptive style of computing, but is proving to be a disruption to the traditional technology landscape.  When component manufacturers like AMD look to move into server solutions, and thus closer to the end user, you can’t help but think “is this a trend we’ll see unfold in the component space?” Large cloud providers increasingly move away from off the shelf solutions to in-house designed solutions using off-the-shelf components.  Facebook’s Open Compute Project for servers, and now storage is proof of this.  Face it, these companies are building out massive data centers with thousands of servers, and the traditional designs offered by the large OEMs just don’t seem to fit their model.

The model being to drive as much compute and storage out of the data center for as little cost as possible.  Not just cost in terms of hardware costs, but power, cooling, support, and footprint.  From what SeaMicro’s solutions look like, they are a perfect fit for what cloud providers aim to accomplish.  And thus, a perfect fit for AMD to make a bigger splash in this market called “the cloud”.  And there isn’t a single tech company not trying to do the same.

The beauty is that the cloud is driving innovation.  Innovation in server and storage design that ultimately drive down the costs of deploying more and more servers and thus data centers across the globe. It’s the wild wild west of the desktop and server days of old, and who better to shake things up than AMD?

I’m a fan of the move…begging the old system builder question of the early 2000′s…

Intel or AMD?

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