Mission Critical Xeon in the Data Center

My name is Pauline Nist  (yes, the National  Institute of Standards and Technology stole my name).  I've been involved in the design and delivery of Mission Critical server systems for most of my life (there was a brief stint in IT early in my career--good training).

I worked on a lot of Vaxes and Alphas (SMP and Clusters) Systems for DEC, then moved to Tandem  where I was responsible for the NonStop hardware and software - including the SQL MX database (shared nothing clusters). Basically Tandem really delivered systems with 100% uptime--the gold standard for Mission Critical.

Then I moved into the "merger" phase of my career, were Tandem was acquired by Compaq, who then also bought DEC. Finally it was all swallowed by HP. There was a lot of indigestion to go around during these years.

Looking for a  significant change of pace, I moved to Penguin Computing, a clustered Linux server startup.  Penguin sells to high performance computing and web customers and gave me a great introduction to X86 computing.  We rode the wave of 64-bit capability coming to X86, and could offer technical computing customers 300% more performance at 30% of the price of RISC/Unix. I also found out that startups teach you a lot about cash accounting.

Now I'm at Intel. Quite the change, but in many ways a logical progression to what is now the emerging way to deliver Mission Critical computing. I made the change because with the introduction of the Xeon 7500, standards based computing has come of  age.


At Intel I'm the GM for the Mission Critical Server Segment in the Data Center Group. I get to work with customers and partners and help deliver Xeon and Itanium server systems, focusing on database and other business critical applications where business continuity are key.

This past year has been really exciting as we've seen an unprecedented number of high end Xeon 7500  (Nehalem processor) series systems (>4S) from our partners. What with a huge leap in system performance, high availability, coupled with virtrualization, cloud computing  (particularly private clouds), SSDs, and various database and BI appliances, from a variety of vendors, there is a huge amount of innovation going on in the data center.

Stay tuned for future data center discussions, and great sessions at IDF in San Francisco next  week.