It’s been a year since AMD released its AMD Open 3.0 specification for a cost effective datacenter server, and 4 months since they first demonstrated hardware, but the project has now come to fruition with the release of the first generation of servers based on this specification which promise a greater than 50% reduction in TCO.
This is an important moment for AMD; their decade’s long competition with Intel has gone full circle; they compete now based almost solely on price, having seemingly forever given up the technology leadership position to Intel. So with their new designs, focused on building efficient, cost effective, performance capable datacenter servers based on open standards, it could be said that AMD is betting the farm. Given the positive response that there has been, from both vendors and consumers to the Facebook lead Open Computing project, this might be a pretty safe bet.
Designed to fit in any standard 1U to 3U rack height server chassis (both the Open Compute and standard 19” rack models), the motherboard boasts components such as dual Opeteron 6300 Series processors, 12 DIMM slots supporting up to 384 GB of RAM, six SATA ports, integrated dual channel Gb Ethernet, multiple PCIe slots, and a custom connector for modules from vendors Broadcom or Mellanox.
The Open Compute servers are coming from vendors like Tyan and Quanta and through major distributors, but not from traditional first choice datacenter hardware vendors like IBM, HP, or Dell. If anything, the first stirrings of the Open Compute products are in direct competition with the traditional model of datacenter hardware sales and its proprietary nature, despite the much more commodity-like aspects of rack mounted servers.