Driving Down Power Costs
AMD officials also are looking to drive down power costs with the new Opterons. New features include C1E Power State, which can shut off more parts of the processor when it's idle, putting it into a "deeper sleep state," Longoria said. With the new Cool Speed technology, the chip will go into lower power states when it hits temperature limits set by the IT administrator, enabling businesses to better balance performance and power consumption.Dell is offering the Opteron 6000 in its PowerEdge R815 system, a 2U (3.5-inch) four-socket rack server, which will include Dell's new Fail Safe Virtualization feature, designed to offer greater failover protection in virtualized data centers. For its part, HP introduced the first of its ProLiant G7 servers, the DL165 G7 and DL385 G7 rack systems, and the SL165z G7 scale-out server, designed for highly dense data center environments, all powered by Opteron 6000 chips. They will be available in April. The new ProLiants offer a 23-1 consolidation ratio, and come with the various HP features-including Sea of Sensors, Dynamic Power Capping and Power Adviser-featured in the G6 servers, according to Dave Peterson, group manager of product marketing for HP's Industry Standard Server business. "[Energy consumption] is the No. 1 pain point we continue to hear," Peterson said in an interview. He said that the innovations coming from both AMD and Intel are wins for both OEMs and their customers. HP will continue to be the "Switzerland of servers," Peterson said, adding that the company wants to give businesses a wide range of system platforms to choose from. "The customers get more opportunities now," he said. "They get more flexibility up and down the stack." SGI will offer the Opteron 6000 processors throughout its scale-out server line, including Rackable and CloudRack systems and its InfiniteStorage servers. In addition, SGI's ICE Cube containerized data center also is offering AMD chips for the first time, officials said. "With AMD Opteron 6000 series platform support, SGI customers will be able to gain new levels of scale, efficiency and price/performance metrics," SGI CEO Mark Barrenechea said in a statement. In addition, SGI announced that for the first time, it will put AMD chips into its Altix ICE HPC clusters and Octane III personal supercomputers later this year. The company's HPC cluster software stack will also be available on the AMD Opteron platform for the first time, the company said. Appro also is upgrading its entire two- and four-socket server platforms with Opteron 6000 processors. The new servers will be available in April, and include the Hyper Clusters and Xtreme-X supercomputer series, officials said. "This upgrade matches high-performance computing requirements needing higher memory and I/O bandwidth combined with energy-efficient features, while also representing Appro's continued growth in large-scale cluster deployments with price/performance leadership," John Lee, vice president of Appro's Advanced Technology Solutions Group, said in a statement.
AMD's Advanced Platform Management Link ties into system management console offers by OEMs, enabling IT administrators to closely monitor the power and cooling of the processor itself. AMD also is offering lower memory voltage option of 1.35 volts-rather than just the traditional 1.5 volts-in both Magny-Cours and Lisbon, which will be important to highly dense environments such as cloud computing, Longoria said.