COMPUTER MAKER ACER has changed horses and is backing AMD with the announcement that its 6000 series servers will be powered by Magny-Cours based Opteron processors.
Acer is a strong player in the PC market, currently ranking second in global PC sales, but is quite new to the server arena having launched its first servers less than six months ago with several Intel based products.
Acer is a company of many names and its enterprise interests, across small, medium and large businesses, are covered under the Gateway brand in Europe, although Gateway is a consumer brand in other parts of the world.
The company has unveiled additions to all four sections of its server range, including a new tower, two rack servers, two multi-node servers and two blades.
The GT115 F1 tower is aimed squarely at smaller end of the market, packing in just a single Opteron 4000 processor, while the GR385 F1 and GR585 F1 rack servers are aimed at those needing more muscle, being 2U form factor units respectively boasting up to two and four processors, 24 and 32 DIMMs and sixteen 2.5-inch hard drives.
High performance computing users can opt for one of the Gateway rack based multi-node servers, which are capable of operating independently or in parallel with other nodes.
Lastly, moving toward the more high end requirements, are the GB2x285 F1 and GB685 F1 blade servers, which are dual socket and quad socket Opteron blade nodes. Acer reckons it can pack 20 dual socket or 10 quad socket nodes into seven of its rack units, meaning a single blade enclosure can mount up to 480 cores.
With this push, Acer's CEO reckons that the server arm will account for about four per cent of the company's turnover by the end of the year and that it will have about 10 per cent of the global server market by the end of 2011.
Acer hopes the move will give it some serious price performance advantages over the competition, helping drive up its market share sharply across the full range of business sizes, particularly in high end two-socket and low end four-socket configuration servers.
Acer stressed that Gateway is a channel only brand in EMEA, so you will not be able to get any of this kit directly from Acer, but instead only through its B2B partners.
While it's got a clear direction in EMEA and Asia, the company is planning to expand this range into the US during the second half of 2010, but is still finalising its brand and approach strategy.
Furthermore, the company is planning a range of GPU focused platforms in the not too distant future, powered by ATI based cards, however it also said that it is remaining platform agnostic, choosing the chips best suited for each of its products and so may return to Intel for future products. µ