AMD scores its first big server win with Microsoft Azure


AMD built it, and now the OEM has come. In this case, its Epyc server processors have scored their first big public win, with Microsoft announcing Azure instances based on AMD’s Epyc server microprocessors.

AMD was first to 64-bit x86 design with Athlon on the desktop and Opteron on the servers. Once Microsoft ported Windows Server to 64 bits, the benefit became immediately apparent. Gone was the 4GB memory limit of 32-bit processors, replaced with 16 exabytes of memory, something we won’t live to see in our lifetimes (famous last words, I know).

When Microsoft published a white paper in 2005 detailing how it was able to consolidate 250 32-bit MSN Network servers into 25 64-bit servers thanks to the increase in memory, which meant more connections per machine, that started the ball rolling for AMD. And within a few years, Opteron had 20 percent server market share.

Then AMD stumbled, Intel got its act together, and the situation reversed itself. This year, Opteron accounted for less than 1 percent of server sales, according to Mercury Research.

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