Fillings the Sockets
Let?s start off by saying that few, if any, server customers ever upgrade their server processors. There are a few notable exceptions, including the Jaguar and Kraken HPC clusters. With HPC clusters it is much easier to do mass upgrades of CPUs. Outside of the HPC world, the only time a customer really wants to take a server offline is when they are actually decommissioning the server after its 3 years of trouble-free service, so processor upgrades are less rare.
You?d think that having an upgradeable processor is not exciting to most customers, but there are a couple of things that really make this cool.
Upgradeability means that the current platforms that support AMD OpteronTM 4100/6100 Series processors should be the same as the platforms that will support the new AMD Opteron processors that are based on the ?Bulldozer? core. (I say ?should? because my lawyers always remind me that we make the processors, not the platforms so I can?t make statements for our partners?.)
When we designed the current platform specifications we did so with ?Bulldozer? in mind. This means that platforms can have the same BIOS, drivers, and associated software, which helps greatly reduce the tasks around managing platforms based on the 2 different processors.
In addition, if partners get to utilize the same boards, the development time can be decreased so there is faster time to market. And that is good news for customers.
Just to show you how easy it can be, we?ve put the following video together:
Then again, if you do have a large cluster built on AMD Opteron 4100/6100 series processors and you do want to upgrade to ?Bulldozer?, give me a call.