Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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AMD Expands Roster of Datacenter Server Partners 

AMD announced expanded datacenter partnerships with server maker Lenovo and Nutanix Inc. that will use the chip makers Epyc processor to deliver hyperconverged and virtualized infrastructure. The expanded ecosystem also pulls in Nutanix partner Hewlett Packard Enterprise and another server leader, Dell Technologies.

The company (NASDAQ: AMD) said Wednesday (Oct. 14) Lenovo will use its flagship processor in its ThinkAgile infrastructure. The server maker launched the HCI gear last month in partnership with Nutanix, Microsoft and VMware. Lenovo claimed the combination would allow users to run virtual workloads using 50 percent fewer servers.

Meanwhile, Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX) is incorporating AMD’s processor into its hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Along with Lenovo’s Data Center Group, AMD’s server partners also include Dell Technologies and HPE. The latter’s ProLiant server line runs Nutanix HCI and cloud computing software. Dell EMC’s servers also support Nutanix software, as does Lenovo’s datacenter hardware.

The hardware partnerships seek to capitalize on the shift to hyperconverged infrastructure as datacenter operators squeeze more performance out of existing servers via software-defined storage and greater use of virtualization. In particular, the partners are targeting a relatively recent enterprise application, virtual desktop infrastructure. VDI is a growing opportunity as more employees work from home.

In announcing the expanded HCI partnerships, AMD stressed improved VDI performance along with advanced security and ecosystem support as the workplace evolves.

Virtualized or HCI platforms based on AMD processors “gives these datacenter operators and IT administrators the power to provide a high-performance virtualized environment with leading-edge security features, across a wide variety of OEM platforms and software solutions,” said Dan McNamara, general manager of AMD’s Server Business Unit. “This will not only help them in this ‘work from anywhere’ environment but also enable them to contribute to their company’s business goals.”

Along with remote workplace applications, AMD’s partners stressed that HCI software and hybrid cloud software would also support datacenter center jobs, including analytics, database and machine learning workloads.

Among the partner platforms based on the Epyc processor are Dell EMC for Nutanix HCI and Azure Stack HCI, HPE Proliant supporting Nutanix software, Lenovo’s HX 3000 series appliances and the 7.OU1 release of VMware’s vSphere cloud computing virtualization platform.

The datacenter server initiative parallels AMD’s cloud efforts. Earlier this year, the chip maker announced the availability of its second-generation Epyc processor on IBM Cloud bare metal servers. AMD CPUs also run on servers used by Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and other public clouds.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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