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Software ecosystem for AMD’s Barcelona

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AMD has announced that leading x86 operating system (OS) and virtual infrastructure (VI) vendors are embracing support for AMD’s native Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor, “Barcelona".

Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems and VMware are optimising their operating systems, virtual infrastructures and supporting tools and middleware to take full advantage of the increased efficiencies, performance and decreased power consumption enabled by AMD quad-core technology.
By working closely with leading operating system and virtual infrastructure vendors, AMD is providing customers with the ability to choose the environment that is best suited to their applications demands.  Development efforts by operating system and virtual infrastructure vendors are primarily focused on leveraging enhanced power management, virtualization and multi-core features of the upcoming Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor.
Since its introduction, the AMD Opteron processor has become a platform of choice on the road maps of operating systems from Windows, Linux and Solaris as well as that of VMware Infrastructure.
“AMD and leading operating system and virtual infrastructure vendors are working together to provide a non-disruptive upgrade path to help enable the mainstream adoption of quad-core technology,” says Imi Mosaheb, country manager at AMD.  “Operating system and virtual infrastructure support is the cornerstone for ensuring a robust software ecosystem.
"Our goal is to deliver a computing platform that offers our customers choice, increased application performance and performance-per-watt, and improved operational efficiency.”
Microsoft Windows Server, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Microsystems' Solaris Operating System and VMware Infrastructure are expected to offer versions of their industry-leading operating systems and virtual infrastructures that work out-of-the-box with Barcelona.
“Microsoft has worked closely with AMD to ensure that Windows Server is optimised to take full advantage of the new processor features offered by Barcelona,” says Bill Laing, GM of Microsoft’s Windows Server division. “Windows Server 2003 R2 provides full support for the enhanced power management capabilities of Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors today, and the upcoming release of Windows Server 2008 will offer additional power savings and increased performance when it is available.”
Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions for Novell, says: “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 is the first production-level operating system to support Barcelona’s enhanced virtualization feature, Rapid Virtualization Indexing. Novell continues to work hard to provide customers with innovative solutions at the front of the market, as we are again one of the first Linux vendors to embrace new technology offered by AMD.  We look forward to leveraging future AMD innovations to benefit customers.”
Marc Hamilton, vice president of Solaris Marketing, Sun Microsystems, adds: “Sun has a long history of providing solutions that define innovation. The free and open Solaris 10 Operating System is leveraging more than 20 years of SMP expertise – with 64-bit computing since 1998 – and will offer exceptional computing performance, security and virtualization capabilities on AMD Opteron processor-based systems ranging from single cores to 32-cores and beyond.”
In addition to the out-of-the-box compatibility with Barcelona, versions of vendor operating systems and virtual infrastructures currently under development are expected to include additional optimisations that specifically enable applications to exploit AMD64 quad-core capabilities.
“Red Hat, AMD and the Open Source Software community have worked together to ensure that Linux will fully leverage the multi-core, virtualization and power management capabilities of the Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor,” says Paul Cormier, executive vice-president of engineering at Red Hat.  “This technology partnership allows Red Hat to ensure Red Hat Enterprise Linux meets the critical business needs of our customers.”
Brian Byun, vice president of global partners and solutions at VMware, comments: “VMware has worked closely with AMD to optimise the Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor for VMware virtualization products.  Features such as Rapid Virtualization Indexing are designed to enable customers using the industry-leading VMware platform to further increase CPU utilisation and provide more efficient memory access.
"We are excited about the enhanced virtualization capabilities of AMD’s upcoming processors, including AMD Virtualization, and their ability to improve performance on a broader set of workloads.”