Cloud Service Providers: Upgrading Network Infrastructure to Meet Growing Global Demand

Without careful consideration of network technology, even top-performing processors won’t be enough to meet customer needs.

Cloud service providers operate in a highly competitive, fast growing environment. IT professionals face the need to ensure their infrastructure keeps up with growing demands to provide differentiated services based on region, workload, security, and a host of other needs. Many of the specialized services coming out of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) are being provided by CSPs that have the ability to be extremely agile and focus on specific service and solution offerings.

Intel has partnered with CSPs for over a decade, working directly with the world’s most innovative companies to support their data center innovation and address a wide range of workloads. This includes partnering on innovations in networking. Without careful consideration of network technology, even top-performing processors won’t be enough to meet customer needs as the network can be a bottleneck to delivering optimal performance for their customers.

We understand network complexities and the challenges that CSPs face. I am excited about the advancements Intel has made in delivering a broad portfolio of leading Ethernet technologies that have been widely adopted to address the demands. Here are a few companies we have worked with that have impressive transformation stories.


Founded in 2012 with offices in New York and Cambridge, DigitalOcean provides easy-to-deploy cloud platforms to manage and scale applications of any size. DigitalOcean has 12 data centers, supports over a million developers in 195 countries, and recently ranked among Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500* list.

Seeking to create a product to meet the most demanding analytics compute loads, DigitalOcean collaborated with Intel to design and deploy a new High CPU Droplet (also referred to as an Optimized Droplet*); the product uses Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8168 processors, 40GbE Intel® Ethernet Network Adapters, and Intel® SSDs for the data center. By using this processor, the company can increase the number of Droplets per server, which lowers price-per-performance, while boosting the ability to run compute-intensive workloads, such as analytics.

Kingsoft Cloud

Mobile gaming is big business around the world, but it’s absolutely huge in China. In 2017, Chinese mobile gamers created ¥116 billion (approx. $16 billion) in annual sales revenue.1 Game makers rely on public cloud services in order to scale quickly and with high availability especially when their titles become highly successful. Based in Beijing, Kingsoft Cloud hosts over 1,000 different titles, many of which demand high network performance in order to provide players with a consistent experience and drive revenue. Kingsoft Cloud has 30 large data centers worldwide with a total of 80,000 servers.

To meet the performance and scalability demands their gaming customers expect, Kingsoft Cloud adopted Intel® Xeon® processors along with high performance 25GbE Intel® Ethernet Network Adapters and Intel® SSDs. Taking advantage of these technologies, its new generation Kingsoft Elastic Compute* provides their customers with optimized I/O operations to deliver high performance computing and scalability through high I/O processing capabilities required by their customers. Kingsoft Cloud technicians used open source DPDK technology to speed up the network performance in the multi-core environment, and apply it on the new generation I/O optimized cloud hosts based on Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8168 processors and 25GbE Intel® Ethernet Network Adaptor, increasing the message handling capacity by three times and the network throughput of the whole machine to 40gps.2


NxtGen is one of India’s premier IT infrastructure companies with facilities across India, and is expanding to South America and the Middle East. In a cloud market approaching $4.1 billion,3 it’s vital for the company’s data centers to utilize cutting-edge technology in order to meet customer demands. NxtGen’s existing infrastructure was based on servers featuring industry-standard 10Gb/s Network Interface Cards (NIC), but the company wanted to add greater bandwidth to avoid networking bottlenecks. A typical server can have multiple inputs traveling through a single NIC at the edge, creating a pinch point for traffic into and out of the server.

The Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter enabled NxtGen to alleviate a bottleneck in its multitenant hosting environment, by providing more capacity to handle traffic for multiple VMs

To alleviate this bottleneck and improve the performance of virtual machines (VMs) in a multi-tenant environment across its data center, NxtGen upgraded its NICs to the next generation 25GbE Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710. Combined with investments in Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and Intel® Solid State Drives (Intel® SSDs), NxtGen was able to cut its costs and improve its services to clients. Intel’s support for 25GbE enables NxtGen to support a wide range of different applications by harnessing advanced virtualization technologies such as Intel® Data Direct I/O Technology (Intel® DDIO). Intel® DDIO is a system level I/O innovation designed to deliver increased bandwidth, lower latency, and reduced power consumption.

To learn more about Intel® Ethernet Adapters, see the product selector guide.

I am excited to see future innovations CSPs will drive taking advantage of Intel’s leading compute, network, and storage technologies. Successful CSPs are staying ahead of the technology curve, not chasing it. Explore

Published on Categories Data Center NetworkingTags , , , ,
Patricia Kummrow

About Patricia Kummrow

Patty Kummrow is a VP in the Networking and Edge Group, and the GM of the Ethernet Products Group at Intel Corporation. She leads the strategy, architecture, development, manufacturing, and marketing of Intel® Ethernet Network Adapters, Controllers, and IPUs to enable next generation solutions used to accelerate networking, storage, and network security in data centers. Kummrow has two decades of experience in CPU design and technical leadership. She has led multiple teams developing Intel processors for data center, networking, storage, and autonomous driving applications. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, and a M.S. in Technology Management from Walden University.