Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, May 29, 2020
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AMD Epyc CPUs Available on IBM Cloud Servers 

AMD’s expanding presence in the data center and cloud computing markets took a step forward with today’s announcement that its 7nm 2nd Gen Epyc 7642 CPUs are now available on IBM Cloud bare metal servers. AMD, whose share of the data center server processor market had (pre-COVID-19) been expected by some to reach 10 percent by the end of this year, has already broken Intel’s stranglehold on the cloud industry -- AMD chips are in servers used by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and other public cloud service providers.

The AMD Epyc 7642 based, dual-socket bare metal IBM Cloud server -- designed for data analytics, electronic design automation, artificial intelligence and other compute-intensive workloads -- delivers 96 CPU cores, base clock frequency of 2.3GHz with a maximum all-core boost of up to 3.3GHz, 8 memory channels per socket, up to 4TB memory configuration support and up to 24 local storage drives, according to IBM.

The IBM bare metal servers are being rolled out at Big Blue data centers in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Today, the servers are available in North America South (DAL13) and North America East (WDC06) locations. Pricing starts at $1,769 per month, configured with 512 GB RAM and one 960 GB SSD.

Founded on AMD’s x86-based Zen architecture and introduced in 2017, Epyc processors hold more than 140 performance records, according to the company, and have forged the company’s return to significance in the server processor market. The current 7nm Epyc version, code named “Rome,” was launched last August.

“AMD and IBM Cloud are now working together to enable the best IBM Cloud Bare Metal experience for clients whose workloads demand high core count and throughput in a two-socket system,” said Satinder Sethi, general manager, IBM Cloud Infrastructure Services, in a blog. “The 2nd Gen AMD Epyc family of processors provides IBM Cloud access to large core scaling, increased memory bandwidth, and some of the highest CPU performance possible for a variety of workloads—from bare metal to database, containers, and HPC.”

As for IBM’s position in the global cloud market, estimates among industry analyst firms differ, but Synergy Research Group reported last month that IBM Cloud held the fourth position with a 6 percent share of an industry sized at $96 billion for all of 2019. Market leader Amazon Web Services held a 33 percent share as of the end of last year, followed by Azure at 18 percent and Google Cloud at 8 percent.

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