Sunday, 26 May 2019 13:09

AMD says its processors are 'a safe and reliable choice for govt and business'

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Image crafted by my own image manipulation skills Image crafted by my own image manipulation skills

With Intel's processors in the news since January 2018 over CPU flaws, it should come as no surprise to see AMD urging government agencies and corporate bodies to "keep an open mind about their CPU and GPU options when purchasing their fleet of desktops, notebooks and servers".

A recent case study conducted by the government's Digital Transformation Agency, highlights that despite a majority market share by competitors, "AMD’s processors offer a compelling solution with performance, security and reliability – all whilst helping organisations and agencies reconsider TCO on ICT hardware".

The study isn't yet public at DTA's site, but AMD tells us that it "tested AMD’s Ryzen Pro CPUs with integrated Vega graphics across a suite of desktop computers from Dell, Lenovo and HP brought to light the similarities in performance between AMD and its main competitor".

From the results of the case study, AMD says "it is clear that whilst there is a heavy skew among government bodies and corporations towards AMD’s competitor, the performance difference of the processors appears to be unnoticeable among the two competing brands", and that "it is therefore in the best interests of customers to consider both solutions".

AMD naturally states that it "challenges the way that organisations and bodies procure their technologies, and would encourage them to take all options into consideration during the procurement process.

"Rather than ‘defaulting’ to desktops, notebooks and servers with processors created by their competitor, AMD urges government agencies and large corporate bodies to consider AMD when making decisions about their selection of processor".

Peter Chambers, managing director of Sales, Asia Pacific & Japan at AMD, said: "AMD has been striving over the past five years to manufacture a line of products that can meet and exceed that of its competition.

“Currently we are the only company with extensive capabilities in both CPU and GPU markets, providing industry leading processors with superior graphics performance.

"AMD systems offer fleet management solutions, place a serious emphasis on security and don’t artificially limit feature sets based on product positioning. AMD is more than capable of delivering on the requirements of the largest organisations, all while helping keep an eye on the bottom line.”

Here is the "final Dept of Jobs & Small Business-approved study/review" that has been provided to iTWire:

"Traditionally Australian government and corporate buyers have not had an option to purchase chip sets from other vendors. In recent years AMD have presented an alternative range of products, designed to disrupt the existing monopolisation of the computer-processor market.

"In order to gage the strength of their product, AMD recently provided the Department of Jobs and Small Business with a suite of Ryzen based desktops for review. The results highlighted that AMD products have the capacity to go head-to-head with competitors on performance and features.

"Put to the test by government and corporate clients across the country, AMD's Ryzen Pro processors and Vega GPU solutions stack up as a powerful yet cost-effective alternative for organisations looking to get more from their technology spend without compromise.

"Australia's Digital Transformation Agency is tasked with the role of assisting government departments and agencies in undergoing digital transformation. The agency approached the federal Department of Jobs and Small Business at the end of 2017 to evaluate Ryzen Pro enterprise chipsets — built on AMD's CPU and GPU expertise — in preparation for the department's migration to Windows 10.

"The department's Technology and Services Group evaluated desktop computers from Dell, Lenovo and HP, all based on AMD's R5 and R7 Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) which combine the CPU and GPU onto a single chip. These demonstrated no noticeable performance differences to the department’s current desktop computers.

"Along with suitability for day-to-day computing tasks, the review also considered AMD's compatibility with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and imaging deployment as well as driver support and driver pack availability."

The review stated: "There were no issues with SCCM deployment and no issues were encountered using AMD-based machines running normal tasks".

"While developing their suite of Ryzen processors, AMD placed emphasis on product compatibility. While AMD machines are not compatible with Intel's proprietary vPro remote management platform, AMD instead relies on the open industry-wide Dash standard. Dash's remote management tools are capable of supporting both AMD and Intel systems within the same environment.

"AMD also offers greater flexibility when it comes to managing large fleets by incorporating Dash across its complete Ryzen Pro stack of R3, R5 and R7 processors. Meanwhile, Intel only includes vPro technology with its Core i5 and i7 processors. AMD stands by their belief that this tactic forces government and enterprise customers to either forgo important management and security features or unnecessarily upgrade to more expensive hardware when buying Intel.

"AMD's approach ensures that even the entry-level AMD Ryzen Pro 3 is suitable for fleet deployment, whereas Intel withholds these features from its Core i3 products.

"Dash also offers the advantage of "out of band" manageability, ensuring that devices can be managed remotely even if they are offline, asleep or shutdown. It is also possible to manage Dash systems in the SCCM infrastructure employed by many large organisations to manage assets, eliminating the need to stick with vPro.

"AMD's security credentials also make Ryzen a safe choice for government agencies and corporates which need to place information security above all else.

"All of Windows 10's latest security features have been enabled on Ryzen Pro, including TPM 2.0 encryption standards, Device Guard for device security, Credential Guard for identity security and Windows Information Protection for data security. Meanwhile, AMD's Guard MI secure boot technology protects against threats such as malware which attempts to hide from the operating system during a boot sequence.

"It is also important to note that AMD processors are not vulnerable to hardware security flaws such as Meltdown, Foreshadow, TLBleed and AMT Backdoor.

"When you weigh up the options, there's no reason for government agencies and large corporates to disregard AMD as a viable option when making decisions about their selection of desktop processors. The trials conducted on the Ryzen-based desktops, highlight that AMD is more than capable of delivering on the fleet management and security requirements of the largest organisations, all while helping keep an eye on the bottom line."

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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