Intel Tightens Cloud Focus With New Xeon Chips, SSDs And Partnerships

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Chip giant expands Xeon line with new processor models and partnerships to aid cloud workload migrations

Chip giant Intel has announced new chips and other tech geared towards cloud computing, as well as several partnerships to assist business migrations away from on-premise infrastructure.

To tighten its focus on the cloud, Intel concentrated on three developments. Firstly it revealed new additions to the Intel Xeon processor family with the E5-2600 v4 range, which are now being incorporated into the servers of Dell, HPE and Lenovo.

New Chips

Secondly it announced the arrival of new Intel SSDs, which includes Intel’s first 3D NAND drives optimised for cloud and enterprise workloads.

nokiaAnd thirdly it revealed partnerships with two startups (CoreOS and Mirantis), as well as industry programs to “help accelerate businesses’ access to enterprise-ready, easy-to-deploy cloud solutions.”

The central thrust of Intel’s announcements is to make the move to the cloud faster and easier for businesses, by making best use of software-defined infrastructure (SDI).

“Enterprises want to benefit from the efficiency and agility of cloud architecture and on their own terms – using the public cloud offerings, deploying their own private cloud, or both,” said Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel’s Data Centre Group. “The result is pent-up demand for software-defined infrastructure. Intel is investing to mature SDI solutions and provide a faster path for businesses of all sizes to reap the benefits of the cloud.”

On the chip side it unveiled the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 product family. These chips are built on 14nm process technology, as Intel continues to seek ways to pack more circuitry on silicon wafers. These speedy new chips have 20 percent more cores and cache than the prior generation, and supports faster memory as well as faster cryptography to quickly encrypt data.

The second cloud thrust are new solid state drives (SSDs) optimised Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 family. These units are firmly targeted at enterprise storage and cloud deployments, and the Intel SSD DC P3320 and P3520 Series are the first Intel SSDs to use 3D NAND technology. The DC P3320 meanwhile offers up to a 5-times performance boost compared to SATA-based SSDs4.

Partnerships, Initiatives

The third thrust is the partnership deals Intel has signed with CoreOS and Mirantis that will “bring together two of the most popular open source technologies to orchestrate container and virtual machine-based applications.”

“The merging of these two technologies into a single solution will simplify choices for cloud operators to accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions,” said Intel.

Meanwhile the chip giant has also teamed up with VMware and announced a network of “Centres of Excellence” to help accelerate cloud deployments.

Other initiatives include Intel and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) partnering for “the world’s largest cloud application testing cluster for applications born in the cloud.” The idea here is that the cluster will include more than 1,000 Intel Xeon processor-based server nodes to allow developers to test applications.

Intel is also expanding its Cloud Builders program “to include SDI use cases and accelerate ecosystem optimisation efforts that allow customers to take full advantage of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) orchestration and automation.”

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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