AMD Adds More System Builders To Its VSP Family

System builders must put server products through a battery of tests for quality as well as service.

SuperMicro, Tyan Computer and Uniwide Technologies will begin offering server-based products under AMD&'s VSP this quarter, according to AMD. They join Newisys, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanmina-SCI, which began offering validated products at the program&'s inception in June 2003.

The system builders must put server products through a battery of tests for quality, compatibility, longevity and stability—as well as provide a satisfactory level of service and support, according to AMD, Sunnyvale, Calif.

AMD works with its large system builders to develop their server test grid, which they validate against their own servers, said Ron Myers, VSP manager at AMD. Those servers are then sent to AMD for final validation, he said.

In addition to the hardware, AMD also validates the VSP partners&' technical capabilities and ability to interface with the solution provider community, Myers said. “We focus in on the key soft attributes of the platform, including engineering support, service support and support of the partners,” he said.

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For Colfax International, a Sunnyvale-based solution provider that sources barebones servers from all four system builders, VSP proves that the servers have passed AMD&'s qualifications, said Gautam Shah, president.

“It&'s like UL or the Good Housekeeping seal,” Shah said. “It gives us a measure of quality.”

Now if only AMD would do more to market VSP to the end users, Shah said. “They need to do more marketing and to tell users the benefits and what it means to them,” he said.

The program comes as AMD continues to take heat from its system builder partners for the quality of third-party motherboards that are available for its CPUs. Though partners have lobbied for AMD to make its own motherboards to help control quality, AMD&'s Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz said during a recent analyst conference that the company will not get into that business. Executives at Nvidia said they have been hearing the quality complaints. As a result, they have recently started the Nvidia Business Platform, a program that certifies motherboards from four major manufacturers to help address quality issues.