AMD and Canonical partner for ultra-dense OpenStack servers

Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu Linux and adopted home of the OpenStack open source IaaS project, has announced a deal with AMD to offer a rack-mounted OpenStack deployment for companies to offer an internal private cloud.

The deal involves preloading the OpenStack software on AMD's SeaMicro SM15000 server, a 10U rack-based ultra-dense fabric server that comes with 512 CPU cores, 5PB of storage, 1.28TB of high-performance interconnecting fabric and 160 Gnits of I/O networking. The OS is Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack, along with Canonical's Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS) and Juju DevOps program.

SeaMicro started out using Intel Atom processors, but this server supports either AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon E3 series processors. In a statement announcing the bundle, AMD noted the SM15000 server "eliminates top-of-rack switches, terminal servers, hundreds of cables and thousands of unnecessary components for a more efficient and simple operational environment."

The SM15000 represents quite a change from the original SeaMicro philosophy. The servers were powered by Atom processors -- over Intel's initial objections -- because they were meant for jobs that didn't require a heavy duty processor, such as HTML page serving. AMD bought SeaMicro in 2012, and the SM15000 shows AMD has a different plan for the servers.

Dhiraj Mallick, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD data center server solutions, said in the statement "The SM15000 server, Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack is an amazing solution filling a need in the industry for an OpenStack solution that can be deployed easily without spending a fortune on professional services or hiring teams of people."

AMD claims it is possible to deploy a private cloud using this hardware/software combination in hours rather than days. The joint solution automates complex configuration tasks, simplifies management, and provides a graphical user interface to dynamically deploy new services on demand.

Naturally time to market and rapid deployment is a significant consideration for IT managers, so any time you can talk hours instead of days, they will listen. The question now is whether they deliver. The SeaMicro server has been around a while and is a mature product, and OpenStack is very popular. So we'll see if this partnership will result in sales.

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