Datacenter Dynamics—Next Generation Hyperscale Hybrid Architectures

The world is moving to hyperscale—it’s time to rethink the datacenter

I was thrilled to present at the Datacenter Dynamics (DCD) Enterprise summit today.  One of the conference themes was “Is the datacenter dead?”  From where I sit, it certainly is not, but we are in a period of unprecedented transformation.

The vast majority of workloads over the next five years will be deployed in hyperscale datacenters—either you will operate a datacenter at scale, or you will operate within someone else’s. Cloud computing as a deployment model, whether public cloud or on-prem, is driving new thinking around the design of the datacenter. Enterprises with their own datacenters will operate at a bigger scale, and continue to adopt best known practices from cloud service providers.

At scale, efficiency is critical. The principles of open standards, manageability, and flexibility are foundational to the next generation of datacenter architectures.  Efficiency of the datacenter will be driven by optimized software defined infrastructure (SDI) and the move to Rack Scale Design.

Optimized software-defined infrastructure efficiently places workloads and composes resources

Software-defined infrastructure (SDI) performs two critical roles. First, it needs to efficiently manage and compose resources across compute, network, and storage.  Second, it exposes critical hardware functions to an application.

The quest to improve SDI orchestration means a shift from creating virtual partitions of resources to shifting toward composition of resources to meet application requirements. Standard management APIs are required to enable a range of different SDI solutions, such as those by VMware*, Microsoft*, and Red Hat*, with the ability to support bare metal, virtual machines (VMs), function-as-a-service (FaaS). With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), SDI increasingly requires the ability to run a broader range of applications across the environment supporting both homogeneous and heterogeneous infrastructure. To make the most of SDI, the underlying infrastructure also needs to evolve.

Rack Scale Design, a pooled & disaggregated architecture optimized for SDI at scale

The datacenter building block is changing. In order to be efficiently utilized, an infrastructure based on resource pooling and disaggregation is better matched to the balance of workloads required. Intel’s goal with Intel® Rack Scale Design (Intel® RSD) is to enable pooling across datacenter components, including compute, storage, network, and management.  As design points shift because workloads are rapidly evolving, the disaggregation of RSD enables late binding of resources and technologies.  This means that hardware resource investments can be scheduled for when the workload requirement is understood.

Intel is investing heavily to enable the shift toward RSD and datacenters that are optimized for hyperscale. I’m happy to announce, as a tech preview, that we are ready to demonstrate with our partners the technical capabilities and use cases provided by latest pooled FPGA technology enabled through RSD APIs.

Learn more about Intel® Rack Scale Design here.

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Jason Waxman

About Jason Waxman

Jason P. Waxman, Corporate Vice President, Data Center Group and Data Centric Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). As CSO, Jason will be focused on driving consistent, strategic long-term business planning, accelerating new business models, and identifying inorganic growth opportunities in close collaboration with Intel Capital. Waxman joined Intel in 1997 and has held several roles in cloud, enterprise and data center computing. Before being CSO, Waxman started the Datacenter Solutions Group leading the systems and rack scale design businesses. He was also the general manager of the Cloud Platforms Group, where he managed Intel’s business, products and technologies for cloud service providers. Prior to that, Waxman was general manager of high-density computing and led the definition and introduction in enterprise of Intel Xeon platforms. Before coming to Intel, Waxman worked in strategic planning and manufacturing for Emerson Electric. Waxman is an industry advocate for standards in data center computing, including board roles in the Open Compute Foundation and the Server System Infrastructure Forum. He initiated Intel's role as technical advisor to the Open Data Center Alliance. He is involved in non-profit charities and acts as a trustee to the Oregon Health and Sciences University and a board member for the Boys and Girls Aid. Waxman holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, a master's degree in operations research, and an MBA degree, all from Cornell University.