“You want it all, but you can’t have it” – for the AMD fans out there, this rings all too true in the enterprise space.
AMD has been a leader in the desktop market for well over a decade but have always struggled to gain significant traction with the enterprise. Anecdotally speaking, I’ve been in the industry for 18 years now, and could count the number of AMD-based servers I’ve worked on on one hand!
Recent performance gains over Intel have captured the attention of enterprise decision-makers, and when scoping a custom HCI solution for a customer, I’m regularly asked about the AMD options. Up until now, that conversation hasn’t gone very far – HCI has very much been a game that’s played on Intel’s court. Recognising this, AMD is bringing the fight to them, announcing three new EPYC 7Fx2 processors back in April.
Traditionally, AMD processors have clocked at lower frequency than their Intel counterparts – however the new EPYC line-up makes huge leaps in closing this gap. Higher frequencies provide greater performance for both HPC and HCI applications while decreasing costs, as many such applications use per-core licensing. By increasing the frequency while maintaining the same number of cores, more work is done per core. Coupled with the lower price point of the AMD line, there’s a lot more bang for your buck to be had!
Now for the Intel fans – there’s no need to stress. Dell have made it clear that this is absolutely not the end of the road for VMware on Intel – far from it! Dell recognise the benefit that leveraging the AMD EPYC line can give their consumers and want to enable them to choose the best processor platform for their specific use-case.
The inclusion of AMD processors in their line-up helps cement Dell EMC as the undisputed leader in the hyper-converged space, owning over one-third of the market with over $660 million sales in hyper-converged infrastructure in the first quarter of 2020.
The new AMD-based VxRail will be made available in the 1U form-factor E-series, launching as the E665. Available in NVMe, all-flash or hybrid configurations and featuring support for up to 64 cores and PCIe 4, he VxRail E665 is tailor-made for database, unstructured data, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.
The three new processors — the 24-core EPYC 7F72 (3.2 GHz, 192 MB L3 cache), the 16-core EPYC 7F52 (3.5 GHz, 256 MB L3 cache) and eight-core EPYC 7F32 (3.7 GHz, 128 MB L3 cache) will be fully supported on Dell EMC’s industry-leading HCI platform, VxRail, from today – providing a greater return on investment through higher performance-per-CPU dollar over comparable processors in Intel's current second-generation Xeon line-up.
If you’re a low-key AMD fan who’s been waiting for a serious enterprise offering or otherwise recognise the cost and performance benefits that VMware on AMD can offer, let’s talk!