The Power of Intel Xeon Scalable Now in Microsoft Azure Stack

Public cloud or on-premise cloud?  For years, IT leaders wrestled with this question, with partisans and prophets on either side arguing for an “all-in” strategy one way or the other. Today, the question is settled. A hybrid cloud strategy provides the most economical, secure, and scalable services for most enterprises.

IT organizations often find lower cost, stronger security, and greater scalability when they build their hybrid cloud with a consistent operating environment between their on-premises infrastructure and their cloud service providers.  Microsoft recognized this advantage with their Azure cloud services and Azure Stack software for enterprise.

Microsoft Azure Stack Now Validated for Intel® Xeon® Scalable Platforms

Microsoft is a foundational provider to many enterprises, so I was pleased to see Microsoft’s announcement today that Azure Stack is now fully-validated for Intel Xeon Scalable platforms. Microsoft Azure Stack for hybrid cloud solutions creates a consistent experience with workloads running in Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft engineers the Azure Stack software and hardware together as a solution to ensure consistency with Azure, and only declares a platform “validated” after extensive testing. A team of Intel and Microsoft engineers collaborated for almost six months to confirm that Azure Stack and Intel Xeon Scalable platforms are tuned together to enable maximum performance and the richest feature set. With Azure Stack integrated systems powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors, customers can enjoy up to 16% more performance and up to 14% higher virtual machine capacity compared to similarly-configured systems powered by prior-generation Intel Xeon E5 v4 processors1.

This is another example of our two companies working together to make sure Microsoft software performs optimally on Intel’s latest platforms.  System manufacturers are preparing their Azure Stack configurations based on Intel Xeon Scalable platforms, and we expect to see offerings from most major brands over the next few months.

“Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, and the integrated systems allow us to deliver a low-risk deployment and update experience that is critical to running a hybrid cloud.  The joint engineering collaboration between Microsoft and Intel helps ensure the latest processor capabilities and performance are available to customers via these systems. Further, it’s exciting to see the new Intel Select Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack that will help get more validated configurations, like all flash, to market more quickly.” - Mark Jewett, Senior Director of Azure Hybrid Marketing, Microsoft


Consider an Intel® Select Solution for Microsoft Azure Stack

Earlier this year, we introduced Intel Select Solutions, a brand that indicates the manufacturer’s system conforms to a designated set of features, and meets or exceeds a specified performance threshold. Select Solutions help accelerate IT’s system evaluation and testing process by removing a lot of the guess-work.  All Intel Select Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack feature an all-flash storage architecture, providing the highest level of performance and reliability versus spinning hard drives.

I’m thrilled that Lenovo plans to offer the first Intel Select Solution in this class, one of the configurations available for the Lenovo ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack. Lenovo expects this high-performance platform to be available in early 2018.

“Our customers tell us daily that rapid and easy deployment of new services and applications is crucial to business success.  One of the ways Lenovo can help simplify deployment is by ensuring that extensive testing and tuning happens before the solution is deployed in the customer’s data center. We are very happy to be the first and only partner offering an Intel Select Solution for Microsoft Azure Stack.   By collaborating with Intel and Microsoft on our ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack, we optimize the system for your on-premises workloads.” - Radhika Krishnan, VP and GM, Software-Defined Infrastructure, Data Center Group, Lenovo


The Road Ahead

Hybrid cloud is the future of IT, and a consistent, validated operating environment between public and private infrastructure, such as Microsoft Azure Stack, will increase business agility, security, and workload scalability.  Now validated together, Intel Xeon Scalable platforms and Microsoft Azure Stack, especially when deployed as an Intel Select Solution, provide assurance to IT leaders they will get a high-performance, future-ready solution for their hybrid cloud.

To learn more about Intel’s hybrid cloud solutions, security technologies, and IT transformation, come visit us at


1Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.  For more information visit  Configuration: Based on Intel internal testing on 4-Node, 2 x Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2680 v4 with 384 GB (DDR4, 2400MHz) total memory, and 4-Node, 2 x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6130 Processor with 384 GB (DDR4, 2400MHz) total memory.

Optimization Notice: Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.  Notice Revision #20110804