AMD has hired a former Intel data center executive to lead the cloud business for the chipmaker’s EPYC processors as it seeks to take more server market share away from its top competitor.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company confirmed to CRN that it hired Lynn Comp (pictured), a 22-year Intel veteran, as corporate vice president of the Cloud Business Group. She will report to Dan McNamara, another Intel veteran who has been leading AMD’s Server Business Unit since the beginning of 2020.
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An AMD spokesperson said Comp, who started this month, will oversee all go-to-market activities for cloud and “mega data center” customers. She will also drive the company’s “engineering, optimization and benchmarking functions.”
“Lynn comes to AMD with more than 20 years of experience in data center, IT infrastructure strategy and product planning, and will be a key member of the EPYC leadership team as we continue to expand our cloud business,” the spokesperson said.
Her hiring comes a few months after the departure of Vladimir Rozanovich, who was AMD’s corporate vice president for mega data center and cloud sales. Rozanovich left the chipmaker to become president of Lenovo’s North America business. Around the same time, AMD hired Citrix veteran Brad C. Smith as corporate vice president of cloud sales.
Most recently, Comp was a vice president within Intel’s Data Platforms Group and general manager of the Visual Infrastructure Unit, where she “pioneered and incubated” the first discrete GPU for data centers using Intel’s Xe architecture, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her responsibilities included working with content delivery network and over-the-top media providers on video delivery, cloud graphics and media processing.
She was previously a senior director in Intel’s data center communications team, where she worked on sales enablement for communication service providers on 5G and virtualized network deployments.
Miles Ward, CTO at SADA Systems, a Los Angeles-based cloud-native solution provider, recently told CRN that AMD has been working more closely with his company, which is one of Google Cloud’s largest resellers, but the relationship is less mature than the one SADA has with Intel.
SADA and Intel started a pilot program earlier this year to optimize cloud instances running on Intel’s Xeon CPUs for the solution provider’s largest customers, which is part of new investments the semiconductor giant is making to protect its market share against AMD and other rivals in the cloud.
“AMD is just much less mature in these kinds of motions. It doesn‘t have any of the kinds of teams that we’re talking about,” he said in August. “[The company doesn’t] have the optimization people at the middle, let alone the cloud people that would help translate it, let alone the programs people that would try to convert [this work] into relationship structures.”
However, he pointed out, AMD has been making inroads in the cloud infrastructure market. The chipmaker has previously said it expects EPYC CPUs to power more than 400 cloud instances by the end of the year, which includes a new class of virtual machines that Google Cloud said provides better price-performance than ones using Intel or Arm CPUs.
Ward said AMD has also won the early innings of the confidential computing game with Google Cloud choosing EPYC over Intel’s Xeon for a Confidential VMs product that was announced last year. This has been one of many factors that has helped AMD increase its x86 server CPU share against Intel to 9.5 percent in the second quarter of 2021, up 3.7 points from last year, according to Mercury Research.
“Users that need confidential compute are invariably selecting AMD because that‘s the only chip type that is important for that,” he said.