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Intel Plans To Re-Architect Data Centers in Response to High Demand

Intel has responded to increasing demand for information technology services by devising a plan to re-architect its underlying data center infrastructure with the goal of better supporting online service providers and mobile end users.

The re-architecture will encompass network, storage, and servers. The company plans to virtualize the network, enable smart storage solutions, and invest in new rack-optimized architectures.

Intel introduced Open Network Platform reference designs to help manufacturers build and deploy a new generation of networks using open, general purpose processing capabilities. The new network architecture is intended to maximize bandwidth, reduce costs, and offer flexibility to support new services. The company also plans to implement intelligent storage technologies and tools that can help reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored and and improve how it is used for new services. New server architectures will include customized CPU and SoC configurations for workload optimization, according to information from the company.

These plans are part of the company's Rack Scale Architecture (RSA), which is intended to increase data center usage and flexibility to deliver new services. The announcement from Intel included an announcement that Rackspace Hosting will deploy a new generation of rack designs as part of its hybrid cloud solutions in the first commercial rack scale implementation of Intel's RSA vision.

Intel also announced two new Intel Atom processors to support its new strategy. One processor, codenamed "Avoton," is designed for low-energy, high-density micro-servers and storage, and the other, codenamed "Rangeley," is designed for low-energy, high-density network devices. Both processors are part of the C2000 product family and are the second generation of the company's 64-bit system-on-chip (SoC) processors. They are based on Intel's 22 nm process technology and Silvermont microarchitecture.

Key features of the new Intel Atom processors include:

  • Up to eight cores;
  • Integrated Ethernet;
  • Support for up to 64 GB of memory; and
  • Up to four times more energy efficiency and seven times more performance than first generation Intel Atom processor-based server SoCs.

The new Intel Atom processors are expected to become available later this year.

Intel also outlined its roadmap of products based on its forthcoming 14 nm process technology. According to the company, "these products are aimed at micro-servers, storage, and network devices and will offer an even broader set of low-power, high-density solutions for their Web-scale applications and services."

Products included in the roadmap include:

  • The next generation of Intel Xeon processors E3 family (codenamed "Broadwell") for processor and graphic-centric workloads;
  • The next generation of Intel Atom processor SoCs (codenamed "Denverton") to support higher density deployments for data center operators; and
  • A new SoC designed from the ground up for the data center based on Intel's Broadwell micro-architecture that follows today's Haswell architecture.

Further information about the announcements can be found on Intel's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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