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Virtualization: Article

AMD Fields Roadrunner

It subscribes to the open standards of the Facebook-inspired Open Compute Project (OCP)

AMD is within two months or so or productizing Roadrunner, a system conceived on a turkey sandwich napkin over lunch in New York City to suit the needs of giant financial services companies like Fidelity and Goldman Sachs, which are working with AMD to spec it out and are currently evaluating it.

It subscribes to the open standards of the Facebook-inspired Open Compute Project (OCP), which gives it wider berth than just Wall Street high-frequency trading.

Its configurations can be easily adapted or right-sized to suit the cloud, HPC, even storage and is one of the first 3.0 dual-socket platforms for Open Compute general IT.

Imagine it being used by the oil and gas crowd, pharma, media and mega data centers like, maybe, Facebook's.

AMD describes it as "a radical rethinking of the server motherboard that offers substantial gains in computing flexibility, efficiency and operating cost by simplifying motherboard design with a single base product to address multiple enterprise workloads."

It's optimized is to eliminate features typically over-provisioned in traditional server offerings, a hallmark of the OCP.

Roadrunner's Targeted Configurations

AMD says it's the first-ever modular motherboard with add-in cards to optimize it for specific workloads, a completely new type of server that brings the same power, space and footprint efficiencies enjoyed by mega data centers like Facebook, Google and Amazon to everyone.

God knows poor AMD could use the kind of juice it's talking about.

The widgetry is based on the new Opteron 6300 chip. AMD's Fiorano chipset and a 16-inch x 16.5-inch two-socket motherboard now officially called the Open 3.0.

It'll fit in a 1U, 1.5U, 2U and 3U using standard power supplies as defined by the Open Compute standard but is not limited to the 21-inches that OPC's Open Rack described. It can still go into 19-inch racks. Think 2Us for the cloud, 1Us for HPC, 3Us for storage.

AMD is sampling pre-production boards and expects production units by the end of the quarter. Quanta and Tyan are working on making the boards and Avnet and Penguin Computing signed up as system integrators.

The vanity-free widgetry should work with the same management software as OCP systems like Intel's like-minded Decathlete.

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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