Intel tightens data-center grip with Xeon Scalable Processor platform

Intel tightens data-center grip with Xeon Scalable Processor platform

Make no mistake: Intel’s Xeon Processor Scalable Family, based on the company’s Skylake architecture, is about much more than revving up CPU performance. The new processor line is essentially a platform for computing, memory and storage designed to let data centers — groaning under the weight of cloud traffic, ever-expanding databases and machine-learning data sets — optimize workloads and curb operational costs.

In order to expand the market for its silicon and maintain its de facto processor monopoly in the data center, Intel is even starting to encroach on server-maker turf by offering what it calls Select Solutions, generally referred to in the industry as engineered systems — packages of hardware and software tuned to specific applications.

“They’re moving up the food chain,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal at Moor Insights & Strategy. “It’s the first time that I feel like Intel can say they are delivering optimized workload-based computing.”

The Xeon Scalable line, officially unveiled Tuesday at an event in New York, offers up to 28 cores per processor and brings together a variety of integrated accelerators and complementary fabric, memory and storage technology, some of which the company did not have until recently, Moorhead notes. It also represents a new way for Intel to package, market and deliver its technology, particularly for data centers that are moving toward software-defined infrastructure.

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