Dataquest - - C9ONTENTS -

For­rest Norrod, SVP and GM- En­ter­prise, Em­bed­ded & Semi-Cus­tom Busi­ness Group (EESC Busi­ness Group), AMD, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view to Dataquest talks about the key trends shap­ing the data cen­ter space and how AMD is pi­o­ner­ing new in­no­va­tions. In this role, Norrod is re­spon­si­ble for managing all as­pects of strat­egy, busi­ness man­age­ment, en­gi­neer­ing and sales for EESC busi­nesses. He has more than 25 years of tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence across a num­ber of en­gi­neer­ing and busi­ness man­age­ment roles at both the chip and sys­tem level. Ex­cerpts:

How do you see the evo­lu­tion of Dat­a­cen­ters to what it is to­day - how has it changed the IT in­fra­struc­ture mar­ket?

The Data cen­ter is undergoing rad­i­cal change, driven by the de­mand from con­sumers and cloud servers, and en­abled by open source devel­op­ment. The tra­di­tional tower tucked in a cor­ner hum­ming away and host­ing ev­ery­one’s e-mail and files is be­ing quickly sup­ple­mented or re­placed by cloud host­ing. There are a num­ber of macro trends chang­ing server dy­nam­ics.

Vir­tu­al­iza­tion is de­cou­pling users, op­er­at­ing sys­tems and ap­pli­ca­tions from the hard­ware un­der­neath; con­tain­ers are tak­ing this a step fur­ther by en­abling a mas­sive num­ber of mi­cro ser­vices through dy­namic re­source al­lo­ca­tion. These tech­nolo­gies en­able eas­ier ap­pli­ca­tion de­ploy­ment and al­low apps to be scaled up or down nearly in­stan­ta­neously as de­mand changes.

De­liv­ery of ‘IT as a ser­vice’ has made mega dat­a­cen­ters an ef­fi­cient al­ter­na­tive to own­ing IT hard­ware. The growth of off-premise IT in­fra­struc­ture means com­pa­nies with tens, hun­dreds, thou­sands and tens of thou­sands of em­ploy­ees may not own a sin­gle server. They lease their in­fra­struc­ture, ap­pli­ca­tions, and IT ser­vices, of­ten from fa­cil­i­ties thou­sands of miles away. Billion dol­lar busi­nesses serve mil­lions of cus­tomers simul- taneously via server farms the size of sev­eral foot­ball fields that can op­er­ate with in­cred­i­ble ef­fi­ciency. Of course pro­tect­ing cus­tomer’s data is a num­ber one con­cern touch­ing ev­ery part of the ecosys­tem. We at AMD are in­no­vat­ing at the pro­ces­sor level to ac­count for these changes in or­der to power a highly scal­able, se­cure data cen­ter.

From a mar­ket per­spec­tive, what is your as­sess­ment of the In­dia mar­ket - how is the mar­ket clas­si­fied and what are the key growth driv­ers?

In­dia is a crit­i­cal re­gion for data cen­ter mar­ket growth. As this coun­try of 1 billion be­comes highly dig­i­tized, or­gan­i­sa­tions need ro­bust, se­cure dat­a­cen­ters to store tril­lions of bites of data be­ing gen­er­ated each day. In­dia is poised to be­come the sec­ond largest data cen­ter mar­ket in Asia-Pa­cific by 2020 on the back of gov­ern­ment’s dig­i­ti­za­tion ini­tia­tives and the in­creas­ing pen­e­tra­tion of in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity. Ac­cord­ing to IDC, the over­all server mar­ket in In­dia wit­nessed a year-over-year in­crease of 60% in terms of rev­enue to reach $304.6 mil­lion in Q2 2017 ver­sus $190.4 mil­lion in Q2 2016. Data driven sec­tors like BFSI, Tele­com, E-com­merce, Man­u­fac­tur­ing, IT & ITeS, and Gov­ern­ment etc. are beginning to rely on third party data cen­ter.

What is AMD’s play in the Dat­a­cen­ter mar­ket?

We build pro­ces­sors, CPU’s and GPU’s that power a Dat­a­cen­tre. We are the only com­pany who build both! In fact the 64-bit x86 pro­ces­sor was first in­tro­duced by AMD. In the last six to seven years, while cloud com­put­ing has be­come all preva­lent, server tech­nol­ogy itself had re­mained stag­nant. Ear­lier this year, we launched ‘EPYC’ – our 32-core, 64-thread CPU to challenge the sta­tus quo. It marked our re-en­try into the high per­for­mance server mar­ket and our in­tense focus to once again be­come a sig­nif­i­cant player in the data cen­ter. EPYC is built around a new, grounds up “Zen” x86 core that was 4 years in the mak­ing. It has ex­cep­tional mem­ory and I/O ca­pa­bil­ity and an in­dus­try-lead­ing se­cu­rity so­lu­tion.

EPYC, com­bined with our Radeon In­stinct GPU has brought in­no­va­tion and com­pe­ti­tion back to the dat­a­cen­ter mar­ket. Radeon In­stinct prod­ucts are de­signed to be the build­ing-blocks for a new era of Deep Learn­ing and HPC data cen­ters. We have de­signed and op­ti­mized Radeon In­stinct server ac­cel­er­a­tor prod­ucts and soft­ware plat­forms to bring cus­tomers a cost-ef­fec­tive ma­chine learn­ing al­ter­na­tive. The Radeon In­stinct prod­ucts are also ideal for data-cen­tric HPC-class sys­tems in aca­demic, gov­ern­ment lab, en­ergy, life science, fi­nan­cial, au­to­mo­tive, and other in­dus­tries.

The world’s lead­ing data cen­ter ser­vice providers in­clud­ing Mi­crosoft Azure, Baidu, Ten­cent, JD.com, 1&1, Bloomberg, Drop­box and Lex­isNexis have en­dorsed EPYC. We also have the largest server man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ing HPE, Dell, Asus, Gi­ga­byte, In­ven­tec, Len­ovo, Su­gon, Su­per­mi­cro, Tyan, and Wistron start­ing to use EPYC. We at AMD are very pos­i­tive about gain­ing sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket share in the data cen­ter mar­ket in the com­ing years.

What are the key el­e­ments that go in the cre­ation of en­ergy ef­fi­cient data cen­ters?

The big­gest waste of power at data cen­ters is due to un­der­uti­liza­tion of servers. The sec­ond big­gest rea­son is in­ef­fi­cient servers. Many IT or­ga­ni­za­tions pur­chase 2-socket servers and only pop­u­late 1-socket. Oth­ers pur­chase 2-socket servers, not be­cause they need the com­pute ca­pa­bil­ity, but be­cause they need more I/O and/or mem­ory ca­pac­ity than what is avail­able on cur­rent sin­gle-socket servers.

AMD is help­ing ad­dress these prob­lems by mak­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency a core de­sign ten­ant of our pro­ces­sor ar­chi­tec­ture and with in­tel­li­gent power man­age­ment. The newly launched AMD EPYC pro­ces­sor en­ables no-com­pro­mise 1-socket servers with up to 32 cores, 8 mem­ory chan­nels and 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes en­abling ca­pa­bil­i­ties and per­for­mance pre­vi­ously avail­able only in 2-socket ar­chi­tec­tures. The ‘Per­for­mance per watt” bench­mark of EPYC is un­par­al­leled to any other pro­ces­sor avail­able in the mar­ket. With EPYC, the world’s lead­ing data cen­ter providers can fur­ther re­duce their power con­sump­tion.

——FOR­REST NORROD, SVP and GM- En­ter­prise, Em­bed­ded & Semi-Cus­tom Busi­ness Group (EESC Busi­ness Group), AMD

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