Intel® SGX with CSPs: Path to Innovation

On November 5th, Intel announced the latest Intel® Xeon® E-2100 processor targeted towards both entry servers and secure cloud services. The new Intel® Xeon® E processor features an advanced security technology—Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX)—that has the unique ability to isolate designated application code and data in-memory. Intel® SGX does this with hardware-based memory encryption, allowing application developers to partition their applications into CPU-hardened 'enclaves' or encrypted areas of execution in memory.

According to Gartner Inc., worldwide public cloud services’ revenue is projected to total $186.4 billion by the end of this year.1 Many businesses are interested in adopting public cloud services, but are concerned about the security risks associated with moving off-prem, feeling like they have greater control in their own data centers. This unmet need provides CSPs with a great opportunity to invest in security-oriented services and differentiate from their competition.

Collaborative Innovation

Intel’s deep, collaborative partnerships with our customers underpin their continuous innovation and growth, enabling them to develop differentiated services in the market. Many CSPs are using Intel® Xeon® E-2100 processors with Intel® SGX to provide a trusted platform that helps increase data protection in use. Both Microsoft and IBM recently announced their own enhanced-security cloud services featuring Intel® SGX.

Microsoft recently announced the Azure DC series of instances as part of their broader Azure* confidential computing efforts. These instances, powered by Intel® Xeon® E processors with Intel SGX technology, help enable customers to run highly sensitive applications in the public cloud, and extend Azure's capability to help protect data in use. To find out more about this joint innovation, watch Microsoft’s Corey Sanders talk about Azure confidential computing using Intel® SGX and the “awesome partnership” between Microsoft and Intel.

IBM also announced the IBM Cloud Data Shield* powered by Fortanix Runtime Encryption Platform* and Intel® SGX, which helps secure containerized applications without modification and helps protect sensitive data. With Intel® SGX, IBM's customers can now build data protection capabilities either on bare metal servers, on containers using IBM Kubernetes, or on applications customers build on using IBM Cloud Data Shield. Watch this video with Jay Jubran, Nataraj Nagarathinam, and me on how IBM cloud advanced its security capabilities.

Intel’s commitment to security is ongoing. There are other real-world pilots from top CSPs across a wide variety of use cases that I hope to go into more detail about in future blogs. Intel’s advantage is the ability to provide relentless support to help our customers succeed. When we hear our customers talk about their phenomenal experiences with our technologies, it inspires us to continuously innovate to provide differentiated services and solutions.

For more information about Intel’s work with cloud service providers, please visit Intel.com/CSP, and to learn more about Intel SGX and our security technologies, please visit Intel.com/SGX or read Jesse Schrater’s blog here.


Intel® technologies' features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at www.intel.com.

1 https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3871416