AMD has managed to reassert itself in the enthusiast computing discussion, thanks to its current gen Zen CPU and, to a lesser extent, Vega GPU architectures. Between Ryzen and Threadripper, there are now many compelling non-Intel options for power users. This also applies to the server side of the equation as well, and though Intel still dominates the landscape, AMD's EPYC server processors are gaining ground.
It's a slow climb for sure, but AMD is now in a position where it can chip away at Intel's lead. And that is precisely what it is doing, according to Spiceworks, a professional network for the information technology (IT) industry headquartered in Austin, Texas. As it stands, a whopping 93 percent of organizations use Intel server processors (Xeon chips), while 16 percent use AMD and 4 percent use ARM.
Obviously the numbers do not add up to 100 percent—that's because these figures do not represent exclusive usage, just like you might own both Razer and Logitech peripherals at the same time (a HyperFlux mouse and G512 keyboard, for example).
What's interesting is that 5 percent of businesses are expected to add AMD server hardware within the next two years, with that number climbing to 8 percent if looking at two years and beyond. If that holds true, then around a quarter of all businesses will be at least partially running on AMD hardware, much of which we assume would be served by EPYC.
"In terms of usage by company size, our data also indicates AMD has made more headway in enterprises than in SMBs. Currently, 27 percent of enterprises use AMD, compared to 17 percent of mid-size companies and 11 percent of small businesses," Spiceworks says.
None of this is surprising, now that we have had time to see how the market would react to Zen. Looking at AMD's full processor product stack, it has gained market share from Intel for five consecutive quarters. In addition, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su recently said that AMD had its strongest datacenter quarter ever during the fourth quarter of last year.
The trick for AMD is to both ride and build upon this momentum. Intel is not standing pat, either. It's true that Intel has stumbled a bit with getting Cannon Lake out the door, it has other 10-nanometer products in the pipeline, an interesting Sunny Cove platform, and a discrete graphics play in the works.