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back to article AMD Istanbul - Time for something new already?

Did anyone notice that AMD's roadmap puts maybe ten months between the company's 'Istanbul' Opteron and its next-gen server platform? That's an awfully small window when you're looking to qualify a multi-core server chip. AMD has delivered the six-core Istanbul several months early, but the question is whether it will have a …

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Silver badge
Boffin

The Meltdown means lots of system stretch calls.

With budgets slashed, one of the most common questions we get asked is "Rather than buy all new systems, can you upgrade our existing systems and stretch their lifecycles for less cash until the budgets get rosey again?" We have a mix of Xeon and Opteron servers, and for the Xeons the options are limited - if they want more CPU oomph then they are usually going to have to fork out for a new Nehalem server. But with the Istanbul offering we might be able to upgrade some of our servers just by swapping out the CPU - less money for the server vendor, but then AMD only makes the CPUs so just as much money as a new server to them. Too early to tell if this is practical but there's enough interest to keep AMD in the game and stop it turning into a Nehalem whitewash (which may be the whole reasoning behind Istanbul in the first place). The problem for AMD is we are usually being asked for more memory rather than more CPU grunt.

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Consideration lacking for...

.. software licensing.

The article takes the slant that customers would rather jump onto the 8 or 12 core bandwagon, and skip the 6 core one.

What's missing from this viewpoint that we customers pay for our s/w licensing per core. The more cores, the bigger the licensing expense.

Case in point. Q3 last year I had a choice between 2 and 4 core for a new 12 node blade cluster. Decided on 2 core as it would not increase our s/w licensing. Just going the 4 core route would have had a major impact on our budget - small increase in the h/w budget for 4 cores, but a significant one in s/w wise.

And 2 core provided us with more raw CPU speed than 4 core. And sometimes it is not the size of the ship, but also the knots it can travel at.

Oh yeah - side note. For the last 4 or more years since going blade servers. Not a single Intel processor blade server. Not one. AMD provides solid performance 64bit wise, and at a price performance ratio that often better than Intel. And if I have it my way, we will continue to add to our 100+ blade server collection with AMD only. Never liked Intel and the recent EU fine of over a billion Euros, more than vindicated my mistrust in that company. So screw you Intel. Intel inside? Nah. AMD instead!

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Bronze badge
Coat

It's all in the virtualisation, or not.

The theory is that you replace your two, dual core, dual processor boxes with one dual processor four core box, partitioned to look like your previous servers.

Saves power, space, heat, so the new box pays on energy and hosting costs alone, which far outweigh the costs of a new box.

Discuss.....

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Thumb Up

whatever it's got on the truck

"AMD will sell whatever it's got on the truck - just like Intel has done in the past and will do in the future."

Exactly. And no worries the customers will debug any remaining problems from rushed QA.

As AC put it above also, SW licensing has a HUGE weight in the decision, today, thus QA won't be a problem ...

On top of this, very often, those systems are redundant due to architecture or load-balancers, thus, less stress is put on the QA.

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Anonymous Coward

So it's Istanbul not Constantinople

Why did Constantinople get the works?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: So it's Istanbul not Constantinople

That's nobody's business but the Turks'. As well you know.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ms Bee

Sorry, didn't mean to pry....

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Is Ms. Bee answering her own AC posts?

Thanks for the laugh. Needed it today.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Consideration lacking for...

If companies are looking at saving large amounts on software licensing they should consider the BSDs. A few good UNIX administrator can look after a lot of servers.

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Stop

@ Ananymous Coward

That statement is a joke, it takes far more UNIX admins to manage a datacenter's worth of hosts than it does windows admins. Period. I have worked in enterpises with tens of thousands of Solaris, HP UX and Linux boxes, recently as one of the few windows admins and then later as a *nix SA. What you can do off the shelf with a windows environment takes far less time and effort. I takes SAs MONTHS to write a set of scripts to do what I can do with a windows platform in half an hour, and get WAY better reporting and control.

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Dustin, you're full of it

Windows admins are the children of the IT world. A good UNIX admin can get more done in an hour that five Windows admins can get done in day. It's not their fault that they administer an inferior OS. Yeah, you can do a lot with Windows right out of the box, but little else than what Redmond has decided you should do. After that, it's buy, buy, buy software and hope it all works together between the oh-so-frequent reboots. UNIX is a methodology, not an O/S. If you understood that, you'd not make such foolish statements. And any enterprise that's running "tens of thousands of Solaris, HP UX and Linux boxes" is a very poorly managed enterprise that likes to waste money. One would expect them to hire bad admins.

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