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Q&A with Lane Shelton, VP of Software Business Development at PC Connection

 

lane_shelton.jpgHow many organizations have migrated off Windows® Server 2003? How many are still on it?

 

There’s a lot of Windows Server 2003 users still out there. We see it first-hand working with customers doing deep-core licensing analysis because we have to know where all the VMs, clusters, and servers are to determine the best ways to pay for it all. We’ve all read the statistics, and our work with customers confirms it—Windows Server 2003 is still a workhorse, even in today’s modern datacenters.

 

January 2015 survey by Spiceworks showed that 15% of respondents had fully migrated their environment while 48% had partially migrated and 28% percent remained in the planning stages. That said, 8% of respondents had no plans to migrate from Windows Server 2003, even though the vast majority of these dead-enders (85%) cited concerns about security.

 

Of the organizations still on Windows Server 2003, how many are using other legacy software and hardware? What are some of the common obstacles preventing these orgs from getting current?

 

We don’t quite know how many organizations are both still on Windows Server 2003 and using other legacy software and hardware. If the survey mentioned above is any indication, 22% of the IT pros who responded cited lack of time and budget constraints as the key barriers to fully upgrading, which are often obstacles to upgrading software, hardware, OS, anything really.

 

What are the risks of not migrating?

 

The first and most obvious danger associated with an abandoned server platform is that the manufacturer no longer will issue fixes and patches for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by viruses, spyware and other malicious code. This can spell serious trouble for all businesses running Windows Server 2003 but especially those in heavily compliance-dependent industries. But other dangers aren’t quite as obvious. For instance, Windows Server 2003 servers aren’t equipped to run the advanced virtualization tools that enable cloud integration, so failure to migrate could mean lost business agility and lost opportunity.

 

On the other hand, what are the benefits of migrating to Windows® Server 2012 R2?

 

Taking action can pay back big time, and quickly. According to the Forrester Research report titled “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2”, businesses can expect to see a whopping 270 percent return on investment (ROI) with a six month payback for their investment in migrating to this new OS. What’s more, the report cited a 35 percent reduction in ongoing server management costs and further savings due to reduced need for expensive SAN gear to integrate with new server features and functionality. I’d add that 30% of the Spiceworks survey respondents said they planned to purchase new physical servers and operating systems as part of the Windows Server 2012 R2 migration process, which can enable Windows Server 2012 R2 to perform even better.

 

For organizations still on Windows Server 2003, what steps would you recommend to get current?

 

Since Windows Server 2003 is leaving the picture, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and think about the future. What should the next revision of your information infrastructure look like? There are real long-term advantages to migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2 and its worth considering server upgrades at the same time for optimal cloud integration and performance. The PC Connection team has designed this helpful tool to get you started and we recommend checking out http://www.pcconnection.com/brand/amd/servers to see how upgrading your servers can boost performance and efficiency even further. Windows Server 2003 EOS is happening regardless of how you act, so why not plan wisely and invest in proven performance?

 

 

DISCLAIMER

Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

AMD is not responsible for third party content and does not necessarily endorse the comments made herein.

 

©Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, Opteron and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.  Other product names used in this publication are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective companies.

 

ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited in the UK and other countries. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and other jurisdictions.

This article was authored by Matthew Kimball, Strategic Marketing Manager at AMD.

 

Price. Performance. Reliability. Which has the biggest impact on purchase decisions? Or does it come down to finding the right balance of all three?

 

Every business has to balance these factors, among others. And while most businesses’ demands on IT increase each year, most IT budgets don’t. Whether you’re approaching end of life of legacy servers or embarking on new applications or web projects, when it comes to investing in new server infrastructure, finding the right balance of price, performance, and reliability is critical.

 

It doesn’t make sense to pay for solutions that don’t provide enough performance, or to overpay for performance you won’t use, or to invest in unreliable solutions. And according to IDC’s 2013 Server Workload Forecast and Analysis Study, 65% of mid-sized businesses’ server workloads only hit bottlenecks when memory or I/O max out, not CPU. The remaining 35%? Only about 10% truly tax the speed and processing capability of the CPU. It makes you wonder how many businesses are overpaying for wasted compute.

 

CIOs, CTOs, IT directors, data center managers… these are smart, discerning people, which makes it even more curious why some pay for server performance they won’t use to run recurring daily workloads. The smarter approach is ensuring enough performance to get the job done right for the right price. This can free up budget to invest in performance-boosting enhancements to memory capacity and I/O, or perhaps fund overdue IT initiatives. This approach can extend IT budgets and investments while enabling great user experiences at the best price. I call that an all-around win.

 

If you believe in pursuing a smarter approach to infrastructure investments, HP and AMD offer smarter server solutions tailored to your needs. Both HP and AMD have a heritage of reliable, enterprise-grade performance, and HP ProLiant rack and blade servers built on AMD Opteron™ series processors power some of the most mission-critical applications in the world’s largest data centers—from virtualization, database and cloud to LOB, unified communications, and multi-purpose needs. Tried and true, these HP ProLiant servers now come at an even smarter price for potentially significant CapEx savings compared to many of the alternatives. Even if you’ve standardized on another CPU vendor, it’s worth learning how much you can save by matching these HP ProLiant server solutions to your needs.

 

The next time you’re evaluating servers, think about the platform that is going to provide the biggest bang for your buck. Think about server technology that will deliver the right amount of compute at the best price. It comes down to performance that matters, and AMD-based HP ProLiant servers deliver that in spades. Don’t take my word for it—see for yourself at http://www.pcconnection.com/brand/amd/servers.

 


 

DISCLAIMER

Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

AMD is not responsible for third party content and does not necessarily endorse the comments made herein.

 

© Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, Opteron and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.  Other product names used in this publication are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective companies.

ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited in the UK and other countries. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and other jurisdictions.

amd-firepro-s9150-server-graphics.pngAMD is one of Silicon Valley’s oldest semiconductor companies and we were excited to see our iconic AMD Radeon™ graphics cards featured in an episode of the hit HBO series “Silicon Valley”. In the show, the characters use graphics cards to build a high performance compute cluster in order to run their proprietary universal compression engine “800 times faster than on the CPU alone” – or so they claim.

 

What we do know is that AMD Radeon graphics cards are the ideal tools for gaming, providing the ultimate visual experience for gaming and virtual reality. Since the fictional team at “Pied Piper” created a compression solution to solve big data storage problems, not play games, it’s safe to assume they might see even more performance if they used AMD FirePro™ professional graphics cards for high performance compute.

 

The idea of using graphics cards is not new and certainly not confined to the world of television. In fact the world’s most energy efficient supercomputer, the L-CSC based at the GSI Helmholtz Center makes use of AMD FirePro S9150 server graphics cards and sits on top of the prestigious Green 500, (November, 2014 ranking), a list that ranks supercomputers by energy efficiency.

 

We’ve all been there; you need to build a high performance compute cluster for research, financial modelling or big data analysis but you don’t want to melt the ice caps or empty your wallet doing simulations. The good news is that this is not an isolated problem and thanks to AMD and our range of FirePro graphics cards, you can crunch numbers in an energy efficient manner while keeping your bank manager happy.

 

AMD FirePro graphics can run code that has been programmed in the industry-standard OpenCL™ language. This language is widely supported and has a highly active developer ecosystem and libraries such as clMath that include Fast Furrier Transform (FFT) and Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms (BLAS), enabling researchers to quickly accelerate their programs on AMD FirePro cards.

 

So what makes AMD FirePro such a good fit for high performance computing? Take the aforementioned AMD FirePro S9150 server GPU, a number crunching monster that devours datasets and produces data that scientists and researchers can use for research papers and engineering.

 

The chip inside the card is designed for energy-efficient double-precision calculations – with up to 2.53 TFLOPS of peak performance -- so work can be done to greater precision without sacrificing performance – and is absolutely critical when it comes to scientific research and financial modelling.

 

An AMD FirePro card needs data to work on and, unlike consumer graphics cards, the server-orientated AMD FirePro S9150 GPU has 16GB GDDR5 memory to store vast datasets. Alongside capacity you need reliability and AMD FirePro S-series cards use Error Correction Code (ECC) technology to ensure data integrity and the right results.

 

As AMD FirePro cards are meant to be used in harsh datacenter environments. They are designed to work without any direct cooling; instead, they use the cooling already in the server. This means there are fewer moving parts in the server; helping ensure users get the maximum uptime possible.

 

AMD FirePro cards are much more than brutal number crunchers. Having all of this compute power comes to nought if it isn’t energy efficient. Being energy efficient is not just about saving money on electricity bills; energy efficiency means being able to pack more compute per watt. AMD FirePro graphics cards have proven to be ahead of the pack, with the L-CSC cluster using AMD FirePro S9150 cards certified as the world’s most energy efficient high performance computing cluster.

 

It’s important to remember that you should use the right tool for the job. If you find yourself in a similar situation to Gilfoyle, co-CTO of your hot new Silicon Valley start-up, do your homework. The odds are you are looking for an energy efficient compute cluster, so go with what the pros use. Go with AMD FirePro GPUs!

 

 

Karl Freund is a Corporate Vice President at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

Developers face an ever increasing task that makes their programming jobs more daunting every day. As more and more Internet-based devices come to market and gain acceptance from consumers, new code is required to ensure data-centric applications operate optimally on a variety of platforms. But what if there exists today a way to make developers’ lives easier in the coding process?

 

AMD has a mandate to support open solutions for developer communities. We have embraced OpenCL™ as the first truly open and royalty-free programming standard for general-purpose computations on heterogeneous systems. With a wide range of supported CPU and GPU processors, AMD is committed to the developer community by providing tools, SDKs, libraries, resources and support to encourage further advancements in the OpenCL open standard.

 

To continue the process of educating the growing global community, AMD participated in the annual International Workshop on OpenCL (IWOCL) meeting to engage and promote discussion about OpenCL. This year’s event was held at Stanford University. Regarded as one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions, the university is located in Palo Alto, California and offered OpenCL users, researchers, developers and suppliers the opportunity to exchange OpenCL best practices and promote the evolution and advancement of the standard.

 

 

IOWCL 2015 -  Advanced OpenCL Tutorial (2).jpg

 

 

IWOCL is the premier forum for the presentation and discussion of new designs, trends, algorithms, programming models, software, tools and ideas for OpenCL. Additionally, IWOCL provides a formal channel for community feedback to OpenCL promoters and contributors.

 

As a Platinum sponsor of this event, AMD exhibited the OpenCL™ 2.0 SDK featuring HP Proliant DL380 Gen9 server with AMD FirePro™ S9150 Server GPUs.

 

AMD and HP sponsored the Advanced Hands On OpenCL™ tutorial led by Simon McIntosh-Smith from the University of Bristol. The forty attendees were instructed on the advanced concepts of OpenCL using a mix of OpenCL™ C and C++ host APIs. Attendees at the tutorial had access to the University of Bristol’s “OpenCL™ zoo”; a diverse collection of OpenCL conformant devices to run their own programs on devices and explore the performance portability of OpenCL. The tutorial featured HP Proliant DL380 Gen9 server with AMD FirePro S9150 for the hands-on exercises.

 

IOWCL 2015 -  Advanced OpenCL Tutorial (5).jpg

 

OpenCL continues to gain acceptance by developers and programmers. For example, we’ve seen the ease of porting code to various platforms that ensure the smooth flow of critical data. Whether the platform is a non-stop, energy efficient supercomputer or a wearable on your wrist, developers are choosing OpenCL as the tool to ensure their valuable code is efficiently and properly implemented in today’s data driven world.

 

JC Baratault is an industry executive for Professional Graphics at AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

AMD, the AMD Arrow logo and FirePro are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos

From ideation to service and disposal, managing the entire lifecycle of a product has never been so critical. Great lengths are taken by many industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products and electronics, to be innovative and deliver better quality products. In getting to market quickly, many of these companies face commercial challenges in reducing design and production costs.

 

As an IT executive supporting a leading manufacturing organization, you face increased scrutiny to deliver more business value, maintain existing infrastructure and implement audacious, new projects all within defined budgets. Meanwhile converging trends in social, mobile, cloud, and big data compound the complexity while creating opportunities to drive innovation and create product and service advantages.

 

Many enterprises today rely on NX from Siemens PLM Software, which provides a professional environment to design, optimize, and simulate digital products. High quality, real-time 3D modeling is essential to the entire product development process, with assemblies having hundreds or even thousands of components. AMD FirePro professional graphics cards are designed for this purpose, with extensive testing and certifications by Siemens and AMD to ensure high levels of performance and reliability to help you realize innovation.

 

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AMD FirePro™ Professional Graphics family: a scalable solution for the enterprise

Today’s rapidly changing environment requires solutions that are dependable, reliable, flexible, and open that can help:

  • Ensure interoperability within your workflow with a growing number of applications,
  • Improve accessibility and usability for a global workforce (Including workforce, partners, customers),
  • Accelerate product innovation, and
  • Improve global product development.

 

Whatever the user’s role, the use case or the discipline, AMD FirePro graphics can provide value throughout your organization:

 

  • On the go, or right on the shop floor, if mobility is paramount to your processes. AMD offers a large number of AMD FirePro mobile graphics solutions that are designed to handle your needs for rendering, designing, manufacturing, or sharing design information with your supplier or customer.
  • For product reviews, and to access 2D and 3D design data in order to make well informed decisions early enough to impact product development, AMD FirePro™ W2100 graphics can be the right solution at an affordable price.
  • For a design engineers, AMD FirePro™ W4100 graphics are designed to provide excellent quality and performance for part design, drafting, and small assemblies with NX™ and Solid Edge®.
  • For design simulation and manufacturing engineers who require additional performance and real-time visualization, AMD FirePro™ W5100 graphics are an ideal choice for design, manufacturing, and medium size assemblies.
  • For product designers who require manipulating and visualizing very large assemblies, the AMD FirePro™ W7100 is a fantastic graphics card that is designed for the required level of engineering, rendering and simulation.
  • For simulation engineers and structural analysts who require the most in terms of graphics power and performance, the ultra-high-end AMD FirePro™ W9100 graphics card delivers more than two TeraFLOPS of double-precision performance and 16 GB of dedicated memory, and is designed to handle complex designs and simulations jobs with OpenCL™ accelerated NX Nastran®.

 

 

To learn more about these technologies, visit http://www.fireprographics.com/ws/cad/siemens/index.asp

 

Antoine Reymond is an industry executive for Professional Graphics at AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

 

AMD, the AMD Arrow logo and FirePro are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos