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Seamicro launches high density SM15000 server

Updated But thinks storage is the key
Mon Sep 17 2012, 12:45
Seamicro SM10000

SAN FRANCISCO: SERVER VENDOR Seamicro has launched its SM15000 server that uses AMD's Piledriver processors.

Seamicro, which AMD bought primarily for its interconnect fabric, has launched its first server under AMD's ownership, the SM15000. The firm said the SM15000 server will have compute cards that use AMD Piledriver Opteron and Intel Ivy Bridge processors.

Seamicro revealed that the SM15000 has up to 64 compute card slots and supports 5PB of storage using 1,408 hard drives or solid state drives. The firm, despite its ties to AMD, spent most of the presentation talking up the storage capability of the tragically named Freedom Fabric.

According to Andrew Feldman, general manager of AMD's Datacenter Server Solutions and previous CEO of Seamicro, the company's storage fabric uses I/O virtualisation that offers "the benefits of the SAN at a fraction of the price". He talked up its performance and price reduction for virtualised environments.

Feldman said the firm offers compute cards with an eight-core Piledriver Opteron, which he claimed is the first single processor node that can access 64GB of RAM. Seamicro has also introduced a compute card with an Intel quad-core Ivy Bridge E3-1265L v2 processor running at 2.5GHz or 3.1GHz boosted that supports up to 32GB of RAM.

Feldman said Seamicro is in discussions with OEMs to license the storage fabric. Feldman also said that AMD's Brazos processors did not provide the performance required for the workloads the SM15000 servers are expected to face.

Seamicro has had a relatively easy ride until now because it was up against other x86 server vendors. However the firm will soon start to face competition from ARM server vendors that can boast similar or greater processor density.

Feldman said both AMD and Intel based SM15000 server systems will be available in November with prices starting at $189,000 for a 64 eight-core Opteron processors model.

Seamicro CEO Andrew Feldman replied to The INQUIRER's description of the firm's Freedom Fabric in the SM15000 server as tragic by admitting that it wasn't the best choice of name.

Feldman told The INQUIRER, "What was it called [in the article]? The unfortunately named... that was hilarious. I will tell you that I made up the name and naming stuff is hard, and it's less bad than the other ones. [...] It wasn't intended as Operation Freedom, it was intended for freedom across CPU brands, CPU instruction sets, across protocol, storage, input output. But I appreciated that jab, it was a quality jab. All the guys at work said it was a dumb name."

Feldman explained that he had looked through possible names for the fabric in other languages such as Spanish and Latin. Nevertheless The INQUIRER appreciates Feldman's honesty and reminds him that we are here to offer high quality naming services at the price of a pint or two. µ


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