Microsoft will soon be offering virtual machines in its Azure cloud service based on AMD’s Epyc processors.
The growth of the cloud computing market has, until now, been a success story for Intel’s Xeon server processors, as the rise of cloud computing came at the same time as Intel was particularly dominant in the x86 processor market. Intel’s traditional competitor, AMD, had processors intended for server markets, but its uncompetitive performance meant that the cloud space was ceded to Intel.
But 2017 has been a turning point for AMD. A new family of chips built around its Zen architecture has offered Intel a level of competition it hasn’t experienced since the early 2000s. In the desktop space, AMD’s Ryzen processors offered a viable alternative to Intel’s chips. Meanwhile, in the server space, the new Epyc processors threatened to do the same for Xeon.