Intel courts cloud service providers with new Xeon Scalable platform

Intel Xeon family

Intel has further demonstrated its intention to cosy up to cloud service providers, with the announcement of a number of cloud-focused products and features as part of its new second-generation Xeon Scalable platform.

More than fifty new processors were unveiled, including two new additions to the Xeon Gold family which have been specifically built to support networking functions. Both the Xeon Gold 6200 and 5200 series' are NFV-optimised, and support Intel's Select Speed technology.

A new feature introduced with the updated platform, Select Speed allows IaaS providers much more flexibility and granularity to manage the frequencies and per-core performance settings of the processors in their servers, enabling them to meet more elastic workload demands.

The new Xeon Gold chips also both promise up to 1.76x improvements to NFV workloads, according to Intel, as well as the option to assign a subset of their cores to handle high-priority virtualised workload acceleration.

To accompany the new processors, Intel also unveiled a new range of Intel Ethernet 800 Series controllers and adapters, which will be hitting production lines in Q3 this year. These networking components will support maximum speeds of 100Gb/sec, and will also make application response times more than 50% more predictable, with over 45% lower latency and thoughput improvements of more than 30% when running open source Redis - all through the implementation of Application Device Queues. They'll also support iWARP and RoCE v2 Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), as well as dynamic device personalisation.

On the software side, the company introduced Intel Security Libraries for Data Center (Intel SecL-DC), providing an easier way for cloud companies to manage and deploy all of Intel's hardware-rooted security technologies through a single set of tools and libraries which integrate with OpenStack, Kubernetes Extensions and Docker.

Edge computing is a growing area of interest for the cloud industry, and Intel isn't ignoring it; the company launched a new range of Xeon D-1600 SoC processors for edge computing applications in high-density environments, including built-in QuickAssist and virtualisation tools. It also debuted its new line of Agilex FPGAs, built with a 10nm process andOptane support, aimed at hardware acceleration for edge computing.

Also updated was the company's range of co-developed Select Solutions, produced in association with key partners to suit specific tasks. It launched new products geared towards AI, HPC and SAP HANA, as well as updates to its Microsoft SQL Server, Azure Stack HCI, VMware vSAN and more.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.