At the OCP Summit 2017 non-Intel server architectures were all the rage. This was especially poignant with the Microsoft Project Olympus OCP server announcements. Perhaps the most mainstream announcement was that Microsoft is going to be using AMD Naples in its Project Olympus servers.

The Microsoft Project Olympus servers were designed to fit a variety of platforms so AMD Naples is a straightforward fit. It was designed to handle lots of DIMM slots and PCIe cards for NVMe and FPGA accelerators.

Here is the AMD Naples platform that Microsoft showed in its booth.

AMD Naples Project Olympus OCP
AMD Naples Project Olympus OCP

You can see that there are three PCIe riser slots as well as the M.2 slots holding SK.Hynix m.2 20110 NVMe SSDs. The Naples platform has plenty of PCIe lanes to drive storage and accelerators. That is clearly attractive to Microsoft.

You can also see a dual socket server with 16 DIMMs per CPU in a total of 8 sockets. Using DDR4-2400 that totals immense performance in a full 16DIMM per dual socket system.

What we are still missing are the final clock speeds but AMD is clearly stressing the platform’s I/O capabilities and additional cores.

AMD Naples - Comparison Points
AMD Naples – Comparison Points

When you look at the comparison points from AMD Naples and the Zen architecture to Intel, there are a lot of good things happening. Assuming AMD ships on time, this could shake up the x86 server market significantly. AMD has been too dormant for too long.

We are really excited about AMD Naples and the new AMD Zen architecture. The potential to move from a single vendor regime in the CPU world to a multi-vendor regime is tantalizing.

Check back with MW in the next few months for more about AMD Naples and other exciting server platforms. There has never been a more exciting time in the industry.