I occasionally get questions about what Intel is doing to work with cloud service providers in their pursuit of infrastructure innovation. Intel has been deeply invested in delivering a platform foundation to fuel the world’s most advanced clouds since the inception of cloud computing, and Intel technology and product advances have been fundamental in making clouds faster, more efficient and more secure, delivering higher performance/$TCO (dollar of Total Cost of Ownership), and increasing cloud revenue/$TCO for our cloud service provider customers.
Intel’s culture is founded on continuous innovation, and you can see that manifested in the huge leap we delivered this year with the Intel® Xeon® Scalable platform – our biggest data center advancement in a decade. The Intel Xeon Scalable platform delivers tremendous performance (with more than 110 world records to date!), power and security improvements for a wide array of workloads including AI/Deep Learning. While other architectures can require significant software porting and optimization to achieve promised performance, the new Intel platform delivers “out-of-the-box” performance improvements ranging from 40% to 92% vs. the previous-generation platform for CSPs such as Baidu, Google, Qihoo, and Zizo Analytics using their existing software code, which translates to immediate ROI and faster time to deployment.
At Intel, our focus on silicon innovation has evolved to meet the growing diversity of workloads run in today’s cloud environments. To complement our core Intel Xeon products, Intel offers a variety of accelerators and other technologies to address more specialized customer requirements and workloads, including Intel® FPGAs, Intel® Optane™ SSDs, Intel® QuickAssist Technology, Intel® Silicon Photonics, and the upcoming Intel® Nervana™ Neural Network Processor and Intel persistent memory. This expansive portfolio addresses the varied and constantly changing landscape of cloud workloads in a way that we view as a unique value for our customers.
But don’t just take it from me – Kushagra Vaid, GM & Distinguished Engineer for Azure Hardware Infrastructure at Microsoft, spoke about the importance of Intel’s broad portfolio in accommodating different kinds of workloads earlier this year:
We take all technical challenges seriously, and while there may be debates about which killer workload will challenge cloud service provider offerings, Intel is committed to continued partnership with our global ecosystem to increase performance, enable scale, reduce TCO and create technologies that help cloud service providers differentiate and bring their own innovations to the market quickly and profitably.
An example of this focus on workload-driven innovation is the performance and efficiency required for the network, storage and, in some cases, the web tier. Historically, Facebook has addressed the web tier with Intel Xeon D processor-based designs, an SoC product that delivers a combination of performance and efficiency right for the dense form factor they are seeking and the reliability that comes from the Intel Xeon processor architecture. Early next year, we will introduce the next generation of these processors when we bring the powerful performance enhancements of our Intel Xeon Scalable platform to more energy-efficient form factors with our next-generation Intel Xeon D processor, code-named “Skylake-D.” I’m excited to see how bringing the innovative Skylake server core to web tier environments will help Cloud Service Providers advance their service capabilities.
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