AMD's VSP Program Brings Servers To Market

Platform server

AMD is working with four system builders—Newisys, Austin, Texas; Supermicro Computer, San Jose, Calif.; Tyan Computer, Fremont, Calif.; and Uniwide Technologies, Milpitas, Calif.—that have been certified to produce bare-bones servers under the VSP program, said Ron Myers, manager of server solution programs at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor.

The main point of the VSP program, Myers said, is to bring managed stability to the custom-server business and battle the “motherboard-of-the-week” problem under which components constantly change, making it difficult for customers to plan their server purchases over the long term.

AMD wants to ensure that system builders can provide customers with stable, high-quality server platforms that are available to purchase over a 36-month time period, Myers said.

System-builder partners certified for the VSP program offer bare-bones server platforms using cases, power supplies, motherboards and thermal solutions from a specific list of AMD-approved vendors, Myers said. “We qualify the bare-bones system and make sure the partners work with a qualified-vendor list,” he said.

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Salman Nasir, president of ASN Depot, a Chino Hills, Calif.-based solution provider, said the ability to custom-build servers based on a platform whose key specifications remain stable for some time is valuable to his business. “Product stability is important,” Nasir said. “Customers depend on my name for their systems. I’m not going to do anything to hurt that.”

A Supermicro spokesperson said it already has had seven of its bare-bones servers approved under the VSP program. AMD also has qualified several servers from Newisys, Tyan and Uniwide to date.

VSP-certified servers are available to the custom-system channel through the four system builders’ distribution channels, Myers said. He added that AMD will focus its VSP program on the server suppliers for now, but someday could open it up to makers of other products that are willing to go through the certification process.

“We will look at more offerings if there is market demand,” Myers said.