Intel chip developments could spur enterprise cloud

Recent news from chipmaker Intel not only means higher processor speeds, it could signal the arrival of more cloud services at a data center near you.

Advancements in server hardware, WAN capabilities and unified computing have helped push corporate data centers

into the cloud. And recent announcements from major server manufacturers as well as chipmaker Intel stand to further propel cloud’s impact on the IT industry.

Last month, Intel introduced its Xeon E5 processor, a 32 nm chip built around the Sandy Bridge architecture. The chips are designed around a twin-socket system and contain up to eight cores per chip; this means up to 16 cores are available for a virtual environment. The E5 processors also include Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology. The company claims the chips offer performance improvements up to 80% over previous server chips.

The Intel Xeon E5-2600 was designed for two tasks: passing large amounts of Internet traffic and helping to advance the growing cloud services industry.

There were several key features Intel designed for data center and onboard chip efficiency. According to the company, the E5-2600’s Advanced Vector Extension (AVX) will allow the processor to run faster when high-performance computing tasks are run. The Xeon E5-2600 also provides power savings with 50% less power consumption compared to the Xeon 5600 series. Administrators can consolidate further while still saving on infrastructure costs. And cloud engineers can accommodate more users per workload, reduce hardware footprints and deliver a robust and agile system.

The Intel Xeon E5-2600 was designed for two tasks: passing large amounts of Internet traffic and helping to advance the growing cloud services industry.

The use of Web-based services continues to grow, making it affordable to store massive amounts of data in the cloud for disaster recovery (DR) as well as for everyday IT operations. With higher-density computing models, many organizations are looking to these new chip technologies to help advance the data center.

Many enterprises are using cloud computing for internal bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives as well as data center efficiency projects. These hardware consolidation and server efficiency innovations also enable IT departments to place more workloads on a physical server.

AMD acquires SeaMicro, eyes cloud dollars
AMD wasn’t far behind Intel’s news, acquiring SeaMicro for $334 million and directly entering the enterprise server market and the cloud computing ring. This could signal increased competition between chip and hardware manufacturers -- with direct benefits aimed at the end-user and the cloud.

Organizations that were initially reluctant to enter the cloud market might be more confident to do so knowing the server industry is moving that way. AMD and Intel are clearly giving cloud the thumbs up, helping to create a market based on efficient computing models.

With clear industry backing, cloud computing will become a new way of managing distributed IT infrastructures. Data can be passed over great distances and can be stored in numerous locations with an on-demand presence.

 

Bill Kleyman, MBA, MISM, is an avid technologist with experience in network infrastructure management. His engineering work includes large virtualization deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, he is a virtualization solutions architect at MTM Technologies, a national IT consulting firm.

This was first published in April 2012

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