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Latest AMD Opteron to star in IBM servers

Aug 12, 20032 mins

* Newest iteration of AMD’s Opteron processor finds home in IBM servers

AMD unveiled the next version of its 32/64-bit Opteron processor last week, which will be used in IBM’s eServer 325.

The AMD Opteron Model 246 will be used as the processor in eServer 325 Linux clusters. An eServer 325 was the fastest system in recent TPC-H tests.

In a test of a 100G-byte IBM DB2 database, a cluster of eServer 325 servers running SuSE Linux performed at 12,216 queries per hour at a cost of $70 per query. The second-fasted result came from an eight-processor IBM eServer xSeries 445 running Microsoft Windows and IBM DB2; it ran at 5,602 queries per hour at a cost of $73 per query. The Opteron processor also took first place in 300G-byte databases.

IBM is the only major system vendor so far to put Opteron processors in its servers. Smaller vendors, such as Rackspace and Polywell, make servers that use Opteron.

Rex Conatser, director of IS Operations at Tenet HealthSystem, chose Opteron-based servers for their ability to handle 32-bit and 64-bit computing.

“The combination of its industry-leading 32-bit performance and 64-bit capabilities offers an exceptional value proposition for any enterprise looking for long-term server investment protection,” Conatser says.

For Conatser, it preserves his investment in 32-bit applications, while allowing him to move to 64-bit technologies as necessary.

By contrast Intel’s Itanium processor only has a slower 32-bit emulation mode, which lets users run 32-bit applications on 64-bit servers.

The Opteron processor 246 costs $794 in 1,000-unit quantities.