AMD’s Ready Solutions program aims to address availability issues

After months of speculation on the release date, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) (NYSE: AMD) has launched its new Opteron server chips, along with a Ready Solutions program for its partners.

The Opteron 6200 processors, which were code-named “Interlagos,” were officially launched Monday, along with the 4200 “Valencia” processors aimed at lighter workloads. The chips are the vendor’s answer to virtualization and cloud demands, according to Michael Detwiler, server product marketing manager at Austin, Tex.-based AMD. The 16-core server chips have the largest amount of cores currently available on x86 chips.

“We need to have products that are going to fill the needs of this market,” said Detwiler. “Where it really excels is in its power efficiency and the efficiency it brings to data centres. Everyone has a budget and those budgets aren’t going through the roof.”

AMD provides greater bandwidth memory with less floor space in the data centre than competitors such as Intel, said Detwiler. For its Ready Solutions program announced last week, prior to the official product launch, the company collaborated with original design manufacturer (ODM) partners AsusTek Computer Inc., Super Micro Computer Inc. and Tyan to build ready-to-sell motherboards using the new 6200 processors.

The Ready Solutions platforms are meant to support various server workloads, from cloud computing, virtualization, database applications, Web servers and high performance computing (HPC). The motherboards are available through AMD’s distribution partners.

The company has six solutions ready to go to market, each built for different workloads, but all for high performance computing. San Jose, Calif.-based Super Micro worked with AMD for about four months to validate three of those offerings.

“There was a hiccup in terms of product availability in the channel,” said Vik Malyala, director of technical marketing with the company. “They (customers) need to be able to buy the systems on the day of the launch.”

Super Micro actually has several more motherboards that use AMD’s technology, but only included the three that would likely see the most popularity as part of AMD’s Ready Solutions. “Given the chance next time, we would probably like to expand it further,” and offer more products to the distributors, Malyala said.

The chipmaker has struggled to get its products to market quickly enough and the Ready Solutions program is a lesson learned from the launch of its Opteron 4100 and 6100 products last year. Those products saw a lag between the official launch and when the product could be found on shelves, Detwiler said.

Previously, AMD’s product development had been happening in silos, and the trickle down into the channel would take too long. “We definitely caught the feedback.”

Detwiler couldn’t comment on whether the Ready Solutions strategy would extend to future product announcements from AMD, but he did call the program a “huge improvement” upon previous launches.

The company also recently announced its Opteron 3000 product line, which will launch in the first half of 2012 as part of the vendor’s cloud roadmap. The 3200 series will be single-socket only, geared toward Web hosting providers.

Follow Harmeet Singh on Twitter: @HarmeetCDN.

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Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh
Harmeet reports on channel partner programs, new technologies and products and other issues relevant to Canada's channel community. She also contributes as a video journalist, providing content for the site's original streaming video. Harmeet is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism.

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