Today Intel refreshed its product lineup with new processors targeted for the micro server category. With processors ranging from 45 down to sub 10 watts and optimized for dense server solutions, the news of these efficient little brothers to Intel's mainstream Xeon products address a unique market opportunity emerging in the web hosting and IPDC arena.
While most customers will continue to require the performance, efficiency and technology capability of our current 2+ socket Xeon platforms, some customers supporting simple workloads like static web hosting see benefit in trading capability for density and lower power. As micro servers address these market desires and mature, we expect the category could comprise up to 10% of the server market over the next 5 years.
Seeing Intel talk about Atom microarchitecture use in servers may cause some to wonder if data centers will switch completely to aisles of "wimpy" nodes in the future. Big data center providers like Google will tell you that wimpy nodes are good for wimpy tasks, which are not very common in today's data centers(pdf). But are these little guys wimpy, or just designed for the task required? Just as Toyota delivers vehicles from a Yaris, to a Camry to a Land Cruiser to meet different customer requirements, Intel delivers a wide array of technology solutions to meet our customer's workload and data center requirements as well. We believe all server processors small to large need to have baseline server capabilities such as ECC, 64bit and Virtualization technologies to ensure they are data center worthy - just like all cars provide the basic safety usage features required to be on the road today. The result of this belief? Even the least of these processors can stand proud next to its more powerful Xeon brothers. Not to mention, they all deliver the benefit of software compatibility across the entire Intel architecture family.
To learn more, check out my Chip Chat with Raejeanne Skillern on the topic. I'd love to hear from you on your company's interest in this new segment...and if you think that these platforms may solve some problems for you or aren't the right fit.