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AMD Productizes Facebook Dream Box

In comparison to benchmarks running virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the AMD Open 3.0-based system cuts TCO by 57%

Poor benighted AMD has new servers based on what it calls its Open 3.0 specification that are part of the open source Open Compute Project put in train by Facebook to deliver premium workload performance equal to competing proprietary OEM servers at half the cost.

In comparison to benchmarks running virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the AMD Open 3.0-based system supported just as many virtual desktops and reportedly cuts total cost of ownership (TCO) by 57%: $4,589 versus $10,669 for just a single server.

This cost effectiveness translates into a dramatic reduction in cost per virtual desktop from $91.19 to only $38.24.

“Global IT organizations have the difficult task of choosing between price and performance when investing in servers,” cloud evangelist and AMD Fellow Bob Ogrey said. “We don’t believe organizations have to compromise one for the other. Using systems based on the AMD Open 3.0 specification – the first open source modular platform for the masses – enables high performance and energy efficiency at a reasonable price, making it the best choice for organizations.”

In May of last year AMD released its Open specification, and in January demonstrated systems based on the spec for the first time.

Monday the company said systems are now in full production and available through a number of partners including Avnet, Hyve, Penguin Computing and ZT Systems.

With the supposedly ideal combination of power, space and cost, this tailored solution is the foundation of Open Compute Server 3.0.

Powered by the high-performance AMD Opteron 6300 Series processor, AMD Open 3.0 systems can be installed in all standard 19-inch rack environments without modification, as well as in Open Rack environments.

And they can be managed using standards such as Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH) from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF).

The motherboard is 16-by-16.7 inches and fits into 1U, 1.5U, 2U or 3U rack servers. It features two Opteron 6300 chips, each with 12 memory sockets, allowing up to 384GB of DDR3 DRAM (four channels with three DIMMs each,) six Serial ATA (SATA) connections per board, one dual-channel gigabit Ethernet NIC with integrated management, up to four PCI Express expansion slots, a serial port, two USB ports and a mezzanine connector for custom module solutions such as a Mellanox I/O module or a Broadcom management module.

Specific PCI Express card support is dependent on use case and chassis height.

AMD says Open 3.0 enables substantial flexibility, efficiency and operating cost by simplifying the motherboard design with a single base product to address multiple enterprise workloads, including high-performance computing, VDI, cloud, infrastructure and storage.

The design is optimized to eliminate features typically over-provisioned in traditional server offerings.

The platform is designed to enable IT professionals to customize the server to meet specific workload requirements.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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