AMD Makes Its PowerEdge Debut…

Dell announces the launch of a series of three exciting new AMD-based PowerEdge servers

We shared news with you in December of the development of a brand new range of AMD-based Dell PowerEdge servers. Now, they’re ready for their global launch…

We spoke to Jonathan Seckler, Director of Product Marketing for Dell Server Solutions, about this exciting development – and what it will mean for partners selling PowerEdge solutions.

Q: Jonathan, what exactly is the ‘hot off the press’ news?

A: Ever since June, when AMD unveiled its EPYCTM processor for the server enterprise environment, we’ve been talking with them about how the EPYCTM platform would be beneficial to Dell customers, and what we could potentially do together. Now, we’re announcing the global launch of a series of Dell PowerEdge servers based on AMD technology.

Q: We understand the first PowerEdge 14G servers to feature this cutting edge AMD technology started shipping in December. What’s so exciting about the EPYCTM platform?

A: It really opens up options – for our partners and their end customers, too. We’re using the EPYCTM technology to help us solve some interesting challenges for our end users, especially in some of the new emerging workloads everyone is talking about, like software-defined storage and edge computing.

Q: And what does that bring to the PowerEdge server portfolio?

A: It makes our offer deeper and richer, and gives our partners (and their customers) better choices in terms of the absolute ability to tailor a server system to meet their specific needs. Dell is all about doing the right thing for our customers. Being able to deliver innovation as part of our portfolio lets our customers innovate and be successful as well. It gives them the tools to help rise above their competition and get ahead of the game. AMD is the next innovation to offer in that sense.

Q: What’s special about PowerEdge servers based on AMD technology?

A: What makes these servers unique is that they have features and capabilities that are ideal for software-defined storage and virtualization type environments. Rather than simply offering an alternative chip in some PowerEdge servers, Dell has actually built three new rack server models around the architectural advantages of the AMD processor, to optimally enhance the performance benefits that the AMD EPYCTM processor is able to deliver when combined with pioneering PowerEdge technology. The result is that these servers have unique features and capabilities that are not only ideally suited to, but also optimized for, data intensive workloads, which require quicker processing and increased capacity for calculation.

Q: What are the top benefits of PowerEdge and AMD for our partners and their customers?

A: The brand new single- and two-socket AMD EPYCTM PowerEdge servers offer a solution for edge computing, software-defined storage and certain HPC workloads. There are a couple of key benefits of these AMD-based PowerEdge servers that make them especially relevant for software-defined storage. The first is incredible expansion of PCI Express bandwidth, which really expands the storage capacity of a server based on AMD. It means we can offer a single-socket server with 128 lanes of PCI express – almost three times the bandwidth you would normally expect. And because this will be able to connect the hard drive to the CPU directly, with no additional obstructions, we also believe that it will not only deliver more bandwidth, but also lower latency storage. The second real advantage that AMD is going to give our customers is that it has expanded memory capacity for the CPUs. Each CPU can support up to 2TB of memory – about a 33% increase over previous servers  – resulting in quicker processing and increased capacity for calculation.

To put that into context, in the top-end model, for example, customers will be able to benefit from up to 64 cores (that’s 45% more than before) to optimally handle today’s data intensive workloads, up to 24 NVMe drives (4x what was previously available) for extreme performance storage requirements, plus up to 4TB memory capacity optimized for database and analytics workload flexibility.

Q: In a nutshell, that means what for customers?

A: Combining these two key areas means that PowerEdge with AMD delivers a great deal of capability. So our partners will effectively be able to do some interesting things for their customers, in a way they may not have been able to do previously.

Q: What impact is that likely to have on cost?

A: A very positive one! With servers based on AMD technology, the Dell PowerEdge portfolio will be able to deliver some very compelling solutions that will have really good price performance. In particular, with VMware, which is licensed on a socket basis, the single socket PowerEdge servers will deliver some really interesting economic benefits.

Q: That sounds like great news for partners and their customers!

A: Indeed – and that’s not all! We’ve also announced that we’re certifying these servers as vSAN Ready Nodes. As a matter of fact, these PowerEdge servers will be the first AMD-based certified vSAN Ready Nodes available on the market.

Q: How will that benefit our partners?

A: For partners who are reselling VMware, it makes for an even more compelling proposition. It means they’ll be able to expand their offer to smaller customers by providing a suitable solution at a lower price point, or to move into higher growth markets like Brazil, China or other areas where cost constraints are often an obstacle to success. It also gives partners the opportunity to layer their solutions on top of ours and provide a very compelling total package from a price performance standpoint.

Q: This all sounds like a great development for end customers too…

A: That’s right. It delivers benefits for both partners and their customers. From a Dell perspective, the addition of the AMD EPYCTM platforms to our portfolio really means that our partners have the opportunity to tailor their solutions to the specific needs that their customers are trying to address – in a way that differentiates them from their competition and also delivers the exact set of capabilities that helps meets their customers’ unique and specific needs. In this case, the AMD platforms are really well tailored for superior price performance, especially in software-defined storage and virtualized environments.

Q: Which PowerEdge AMD servers will be available?

A: We’ve announced three server models that will be based on AMD technology: the Dell PowerEdge R6415, the R7415 and the R7425.

Q: And they’re ready to quote and ship now?

A: The new AMD-based PowerEdge servers have been available to quote since December. Quick Reference Guides and sales Battlecards are available to partners on all three of these rack servers and can be downloaded from SalesEdge for Channel (SE4C).

Q: Okay, to summarise then, why should partners and customers be excited about AMD?

A: Adding AMD to specific models within the PowerEdge server portfolio at this point gives partners even more opportunity to really tailor solutions to meet specific customer needs. It’s important to understand that these AMD models are not in direct competition with our Intel-based products. Whether you choose a server based on Intel or AMD technology, each platform offers specific benefits for particular types of applications. In this context, we expect AMD to be very strong in software-defined storage, in certain virtualization configurations and to be particularly interesting in areas that would benefit from EPYC memory and IO advantages– so in instances where you only need a single processor but need more storage or capacity, or need a two processor system with the absolute most in core density, memory capacity, or IO capabilities.

Check out SalesEdge for Channel for further information about the new AMD-based PowerEdge servers.

Jonathan Seckler

About the Author: Jonathan Seckler

Jonathan Seckler has built a reputation for creatively bringing technology products to market. With expertise in product positioning, messaging and storytelling, Jonathan focuses on how to communicate with customers to get them to change their behavior. He joined Dell Technologies in 2011 as a product marketing director and currently is Head of Product Marketing for Servers and Networking. While at Dell, he developed a world-class demand generation content strategy, re-built the Server marketing organization from the ground up, and led new initiatives in Networking, AI and Solutions. Prior to Dell, Jonathan managed the Advanced Micro Devices’ Low Power Client Program launching the first AMD system-on-a-chip, the AMD E-series APU. He also managed an award-winning website while at Intuit, and was the Product Director for DART Enterprise, an enterprise-class interactive advertising platform at DoubleClick. In his spare time, Jonathan works on pouring incredible espresso shots.