amd – Web hosting, Domain names, Dedicated servers Fri, 29 Jan 2016 11:05:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 amd – 32 32 Anticipation Builds for ARM-Powered Servers Fri, 30 Jul 2010 19:06:56 +0000
Yesterday, the popular tech blog GigaOM posted a story about Ian Drew, executive vice president of marketing at ARM Holdings. ARM is known for its low-powered processors that have cornered the market on smartphones, tablets, and many other devices.

Lately, Drew has become quite popular with the announcement that ARM is bringing their chips to the server market. In an arena that has been dominated by behemoths, Intel and AMD, it might surprise some to even think of an ARM processor in a server. But it is no surprise to technology experts working in web hosting, especially in data centers.

Power costs money. Energy consumption is an environmental and financial expense that many data centers are trying to significantly cut. As Drew explained,

“While the x86 world focused on pure megahertz, we have focused on the megahertz per milliwatt”

ARM-powered servers will introduce boxes that are powerful enough to still perform well on the Web, while also reducing energy consumption and, as a result, cost. Drew says the ARM advancement into the server realm will not happen overnight. They will begin testing next year and expect to produce market-ready low-power server chips within the next three to five years.

Source: GigaOM
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

AMD toots its cloud computing horn Wed, 23 Jun 2010 17:59:50 +0000 amd computingIn a company blog post published Monday, AMD discusses the growth of cloud computing and explains how its products meet the new needs of the technology. Besides tooting its horn about its processors, the company hit the nail on the head when it comes to the cloud’s server requirements:

The explosion of digital data is fundamentally changing the dynamics of how servers are built, bought and deployed. The days of just throwing “raw” performance at the problem are long gone and the era of efficient computing with servers that balance price, performance and power is officially upon us.

Previously, we’ve been accustomed to monster servers with ten hard drives and a kilowatt power supplies. While these servers won’t disappear overnight, the web is all about scaling. Big servers are very expensive, but spreading out a load among many small servers is cheaper and more reliable.

Check out the above video for some pretty cool statistics about cloud computing.

Common Server Architectures Thu, 27 May 2010 16:53:21 +0000 Intel Core i7 processor
In computer lingo, when someone talks about architecture, they usually mean the type of CPU driving the system. For servers, the most used architecture has traditionally been x86, but this has gradually been supplanted by x86_64 (64-bit). Here is a list of various server architectures.

x86 – This dates back to 1978 and Intel’s 8086 processor, which would seem ancient by today’s standards. Servers running 32-bit x86 processors are typically dual-core or quad-core systems.

x86_64 – AMD started the 64-bit movement by releasing AMD64 processors that essentially an extension of the x86 instruction set, allowing for backwards compatibility. Intel now has their own versions of x86_64 processors, including the Xeon, which is often used for web servers.

Itanium(IA-64) – Intel’s attempt at 64-bit server architecture is now losing popularity, although some HP servers still use it. Microsoft recently announced that they will stop supporting it.

PowerPC – Although this architecture is famous on the desktop for powering Apple computers for several years, it is IBM’s server architecture of choice. These processors are still used today.

SPARC – Originally constructed by Sun Microsystems (now a part of Oracle), one could list the future of this server architecture as uncertain. Some large companies, such as Fujitsu, however, are still using it.

ARM – This processor architecture has been traditionally used for mobile devices, but they recently announced that some energy-efficient servers will use them in the future.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

ARM CEO Promises Server CPUs in 2011 Thu, 29 Apr 2010 21:08:22 +0000 ARM processor from HP printer
Warren East, CEO of Arm Holdings revealed that he expects servers based on ARM multicore processors to arrive in 2011. ARM processors are best known in the mobile device market, especially smartphones, because of their low power consumption.

Normally, low power consumption equates to low speed, which is fine for handheld devices but not for servers. Nevertheless, East argued that their multicore ARM processors are now “pushing up to 2GHz”. While this is still a far cry from the speed being delivered by current Intel and AMD server chips, it has potential.

At this point, there is no reason to suspect ARM will even have room to squeeze into the server processor market, even if their chips do start to come close to or match Intel and AMD performance. Still, many companies may have room for ARM-powered servers. Lowering energy consumption in data centers has become a concern, and ARM could offer an alternative, low-power solution.

Source: Tom’s Hardware
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft to end Itanium support Mon, 05 Apr 2010 21:35:20 +0000 Itanium processor
Microsoft has announced that it will end software support for Intel’s Itanium processor. Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version to support the architecture that once promised to be one of the most powerful. The Itanium was once touted as the ideal server architecture by HP, and the company still produces servers that run Itanium processors or IA-64, as it was known.

But the 64-bit processors faced an uphill battle against AMD’s x86_64 processors, which maintained compatibility with 32-bit x86 processors. Intel found itself competing in that market, leaving the Itanium cold and neglected.

While many Unix-like operating systems will most likely continue to support the Itanium at least for a while, Microsoft’s cold shoulder will be viewed by many as the architecture’s last gasp for breath. Microsoft’s support for Windows 2008 R2, which supports the Itanium, will continue until July 9, 2013, and extended support will continue until July 10, 2018, which is plenty of time for server owners to wait until their next upgrade to switch, but for the Itanium, it only means that its days are numbered.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

AMD vs. Intel Thu, 14 Jan 2010 06:06:28 +0000 cpu
Many shared web hosts like to advertise their server hardware, and the most popular thing to brag about these days is the brand of CPU used. Nearly all web hosts use processors made by AMD or Intel. Does it matter which one your host prefers? Is one faster over the other?

In short, it isn’t important what brand processor your host chooses. While one particular processor model might be faster than another, the more important factor is how heavily loaded a provider’s servers are. Will you be sharing a server with 10 other customers, 100, or 1,000?

A web host can adjust the number of customers on a server to fit its speed, but if your host is overcrowding to save money, processor speed becomes irreverent. See if past customers have had problems with overloaded servers by searching the web for reviews.

If you plan on renting a VPS or dedicated server, processor brand shouldn’t be an issue as well, but you will want to compare models for differences in speed. For this, I recommend the CPU benchmarks at Tom’s Hardware.

AMD unveils more super powered energy-light chips Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:40:06 +0000 AMD Opteron
In June AMD released a series of six-core processors designed for servers. The interestingly named Opteron Instanbul chips were quite popular, according to the company, which claims it saw numerous customers of their four-core chips upgrade to the new six-core Instanbul. The latest incarnations of the chips are designed for higher performance at lower power consumption.

The new chips are called Opteron SE and Opteron HE. There is no indication as to what the letters stand for, if anything. If they are following Intel’s lead, they are probably just random combinations. At any rate, AMD claims a 50 percent performance boost for the SE and 18 percent boost per watt for the HE.

Gina Longoria, AMD’s senior product manager for servers and workstations, said “demand has been really good” for the six-core Opterons and “higher than expectations.” Longoria added that AMD has won a few large deployments and many Opteron quad-core customers are upgrading to the six-core versions.

AMD hopes to target cloud computing and Web 2.0 server markets that are demanding more intense processing power in their web servers, while still maintaining lower energy consumption. Those wishing to add the new chips to their data centers can expect prices ranging from $455 for a two-socket HE to $2,649 for an eight-socket SE.

Source: ZDnet
Photo: Flickr