AMD makes new bet on cloud computing

Sep 22, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Advanced Micro Devices last week lifted the curtain its latest foray into cloud computing, with an open-source product designed to give businesses their own easy-to-use private cloud


The new SeaMicro SM15000 server is based on OpenStack, an open-source software cloud computing software platform that runs on Ubuntu, the Linux-based operating system


The product is a partnership between AMD and Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company. And its point is to give big business its own OpenStack private cloud on a rack, wrote Steven Vaughan-Nichols for the site ZDnet


AMD’s formal headquarters are in Sunnyvale, Calif., but Austin is where most of its senior executives live and much of its engineering is done. The firm has about 2,000 employees in Central Texas


Cloud computing — which allows for the sharing of data center resources — is a trend toward greater efficiency, flexibility and potential cost savings in computing


There are different kinds of clouds. In private clouds, a company uses its own shared servers, networking and storage to run a range of software applications and allows the applications and workloads to shift between computers to create more efficiency


Many businesses are moving toward private clouds. That’s because of increased security in large part, according to a recent survey


“Companies have noticed that the public cloud only goes so far,” Allan Krans, an analyst with Technology Business Research, told the tech site Computerworld. “You can’t customize it. The security is what it is. (With the private cloud), you don’t have to own the infrastructure, but you get all the benefits of cloud but with the additional security, compliance and delivery options.”


Technology Business Research did a study showing that companies are going with private clouds at a faster rate than their public counterparts


The public cloud market has grown 20 percent year over year, according to the Technology Business Research survey that polled about 2,200 enterprise buyers worldwide. The private cloud is expected to grow between 40 percent to 50 percent a year for the next several years


The private cloud was an $8 billion market in 2010 and $32 billion in 2013. It’s expected to reach $69 billion in 2018, according to TBR


Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said the private cloud category is “a good business to be in, as it’s margin rich, but not as rich as chips.”


AMD’s use of Ubuntu’s Linux and OpenStack indicates that the company is “going after a sophisticated audience, which makes a lot of sense, given it’s tied to AMD SeaMicro,” Moorhead said. “AMD SeaMicro tends to sell to very sophisticated datacenters who can effectively use their Freedom Fabric, a big differentiator.”


Freedom Fabric is referring to a high-speed communications fabric that ties together lots of computing chips that could be used in low-power server clusters and other products


AMD acquired that technology in 2012 when it acquired SeaMicro. Around that time, AMD said it intends to use the technology to build stronger sales in the emerging market for energy-efficient micro servers that are expected to power future cloud computing operations


Young-Sae Song, AMD’s corporate vice president for data center server solutions, said that OpenStack is a new technology “that’s gaining a lot of momentum right now.”


The new product also is more user-friendly that some others, which can take a week or more put together. That makes it attractive to medium-sized enterprise clients, Song said



Print Article opens in new window