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Senior Director at WWT Discusses Intel's New Scalable Processor

Scott Miller, Senior Director at WWT, discusses the launch of Intel's Xeon Scalable processor, a platform for computing, memory and storage.

Posted by ComputerWorld on July 12, 2017:

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.

Intel has addressed security with a number of different technologies. One of them is QuickAssist Technology (QAT), which can accelerate and compress cryptographic workloads by offloading data to hardware that optimizes those functions. QAT enables data encryption to run with less than a 0.5 percent hit on performance, Huffstetler said.

QAT also can provide improved packet processing performance; integration of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) applications; accelerated data movement in Hadoop installations; and 4G LTE and 5G encryption for mobile gateways and infrastructure.

It's not just the raw performance, but the improved I/O and workload optimization features that high performance computing data centers require now, according to Scott Miller, senior data center director at World Wide Technology, a systems integrator that has been testing out the new Xeon family.

"The performance required for a server to run true networking and storage is a lot higher than what server nodes were built to do before," Miller said. "We’ll be able to get much higher throughput and density on a single node than we would have been able to do before on the older architecture."

Those attributes not only can save operational costs, but also support software defined-infrastructure, which allows data center managers to deploy and balance workloads by using software commands.

"The processors have the ability to handle the type of I/O that comes with software-defined workloads," Miller said.

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