Advanced Micro Devices executives last year made a bold move when they spent $334 million to buy microserver vendor SeaMicro, which until that time had been working with larger rival Intel in developing low-power systems.
Twenty months later, and AMD has made its biggest score yet with SeaMicro: Verizon is basing its new public cloud server and storage infrastructure exclusively on SeaMicro’s SM15000 systems and its Freedom fabric architecture.
Verizon officials announced their Verizon Cloud platform Oct. 4, taking aim at such public cloud providers as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and Google. They touted the speed and performance of the new platform—including the ability to spin up virtual machines in seconds—as a key differentiator from Verizon’s competitors. However, it wasn’t until Oct. 7 that Verizon and AMD officials announced that the underlying infrastructure will be based on SeaMicro technology.
AMD and Verizon officials would not say how many systems will be used in the multi-data center deployment of the Verizon Cloud platform or how much the deal is for. However, Andrew Feldman, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s server business—and former SeaMicro CEO—said during a briefing with journalists and analysts before the announcement that Verizon has now become the largest SeaMicro customer.
The collaboration goes beyond just the hardware, the companies said. AMD and Verizon also have collaborated over the past two years to jointly develop new hardware and software technology for the SM15000 systems aimed at not only driving up performance and reliability but also control and security to ensure enterprise-level service-level agreements (SLAs).
"We reinvented the public cloud from the ground up to specifically address the needs of our enterprise clients," John Considine, chief technology officer at Verizon Terremark, said in a statement. "We wanted to give them back control of their infrastructure—providing the speed and flexibility of a generic public cloud with the performance and security they expect from an enterprise-grade cloud. Our collaboration with AMD enabled us to develop revolutionary technology, and it represents the backbone of our future plans."
“Verizon’s now our largest customer, and they have tremendous capacity right now,” AMD’s Feldman said. “This is an industry-moving event where one of the major telcos steps in the cloud with both feet … not in one data center, but in data centers all over the world.”
Verizon will launch the public beta of its cloud server in the fourth quarter, with users initially being served via the vendor’s data center in Culpeper, Va. Other data centers around the world will be added to the Verizon Cloud through the first half of 2014.
Verizon Cloud consists of Verizon Cloud Compute—the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform—and Verizon Cloud Storage, an object-based, multitenant storage service. Through Verizon Cloud Compute, businesses can quickly leverage the infrastructure they need to deploy virtual machines, set performance levels for virtual machines and networks, configure storage performance and attach storage to multiple virtual machines. It’s a level of control that other cloud services don’t offer, Verizon officials said. Verizon Cloud Storage enables storage accessibility from anywhere on the Web and reduces latency issues that Verizon officials said hamper traditional storage solutions.