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Everyone gets a cloud: Intel rolls out new cloud tech initiatives

By Catherine Knowles
Mon 4 Apr 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Intel has announced a range of new technologies, investments and industry collaborations aimed at making it easier to deploy agile and scalable clouds so businesses can deliver new services faster and drive revenue growth.

According to Intel, businesses want flexibility and choice in cloud deployment models to support innovation while maintaining control of their most strategic assets. Despite a willingness to invest in modern software-defined infrastructure (SDI), businesses find the prospect of doing so themselves to be complex and time-consuming, according to the company.

In response to this, Intel has announced new processors, solid state drives and industry collaborations.

“Enterprises want to benefit from the efficiency and agility of cloud architecture and on their own terms – using the public cloud offerings, deploying their own private cloud, or both,” says Diane Bryant, Intel Data Center Group senior vice president and general manager.

“The result is pent-up demand for software-defined infrastructure. Intel is investing to mature SDI solutions and provide a faster path for businesses of all sizes to reap the benefits of the cloud,” she says.

Key ingredients for the modern cloud, according to Intel

Intel says, SDI is the foundation for the most advanced clouds in the world - it makes the delivery of cloud services faster and more efficient by dynamically allocating the required compute, storage and network resources through intelligent software, orchestrating the delivery of applications and services on-demand and across many users.

The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 product family, built on 14nm process technology, provides the key ingredients for SDI including Intel Resource Director Technology, which enables customers to move to fully automated SDI-based clouds with more visibility and control over critical shared resources such as processor caches and main memory, according to Intel.

The new product family delivers more than 20% more cores and cache than the prior generation, supports faster memory, and includes other integrated technologies for accelerating server, network and storage workloads. Security enhancements such as workload isolation, security policy enforcement and cryptography have also been added, Intel says.

For data access, Intel has launched new solid state drives (SSDs) optimised for the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 family, enterprise storage and cloud deployments. The Intel SSD DC P3320 and P3520 Series are the first Intel SSDs to use the industry’s highest density 3D NAND technology. The DC P3320 offers up to a 5-times performance boost compared to SATA-based SSDs, according to Intel.

The new Intel SSD DC D3700 and D3600 Series are Intel’s first dual-port PCI Express SSDs using the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) protocol. The dual-port design provides critical redundancy and failover. Customer systems using the D3700 get up to a 6-times increase in performance over regular dual-port SAS solutions, according to Intel.

Unleashing tens of thousands of new clouds

As part of the Intel Cloud for All initiative, Intel is investing in others in the industry to accelerate SDI-enabled clouds, optimising key technologies, and aligning the industry to drive the development of standards and easy-to-deploy cloud solutions.

For one, the company is collaborating with CoreIS and Mirantis to bring together two of the most popular open source technologies to orchestrate container and virtual machine-based applications. The merging of these two technologies into a single solution will simplify choices for cloud operators to accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions.

Intel and VMware announced a network of Centers of Excellence aimed at accelerating cloud deployments. The centers will drive custom optimisations, facilitate proof-of-concept testing and integrate cybersecurity best practices in collaboration with The National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and Intel announced the world’s largest cloud application testing cluster for applications “born in the cloud.” The cluster will include more than 1,000 Intel Xeon processor-based server nodes designed to provide developers with the opportunity to test applications at larger scales and deliver the efficiency and portability of cloud native applications to businesses.

Intel is also expanding its Cloud Builders programme to include SDI use cases and accelerate ecosystem optimisation efforts that allow customers to take full advantage of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) orchestration and automation. The new Storage Builders programme also aims to accelerate the industry’s use of cloud-ready, next-generation storage solutions. Intel currently has more than 300 member companies across its cloud, storage and network ‘builders’ programmes.

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