May 10th, 2017 by Lyle Smith
Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family Announced As An Evolutionary Step Forward
Intel has finally unveiled information on the Xeon news that has been hinted at over the past several weeks, with a full-blown announcement detailing complete capabilities and specifications expected in late June or July. Previously codenamed “Skylake,” Intel’s next-generation Intel Xeon processor family is set out to be the one of the biggest steps forward in data center platform advancement in the past 10 years, citing breakthrough performance, security and agility. In short, we can expect a game-changing overhaul of their powerhouse enterprise processors. As such, Intel has appropriately dubbed this new platform the Intel Xeon Processor Scalable family.
Though we won't have all of the specifics until the summer, Intel has indicated their new Xeon Processor family will boast huge architecture and platform advancements and promises a workload-optimized performance for compute, network, and storage. Intel also claims that it will be the foundation for next-gen cloud infrastructure and the frontrunner for powering a variety of advanced applications including analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, high-performance computing, and network transformation.
Completely redesigned from the ground up, the new Scalable family is the direct successor to the Intel Xeon processor E5 and E7 lines. Intel has embedded “unique features” for compute, network and storage workloads, along with significant performance gains of up to 3.9 times higher in scalability for virtualized workloads (Intel compares these gains to “widely used 4-year-old systems”). Intel adds that this will allow customers to use a more diverse range of workloads on each system.
Integrated performance accelerators include Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel AVX-512) and Intel QuickAssist Technology (Intel QAT), and Intel Volume Management Device (Intel VMD)--the latter which is a new platform feature designed to provide seamless management of PCIe-based (NVMe) SSDs, such as the company's Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X. Also featured is the Intel VMD technology, a “hot plug” capability that allows organizations to minimize downtime during drive swaps and new installations.
The Intel Xeon Processor Scalable family will consist of four different levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each class offers different performance and configuration options (the more expensive the metal, the more powerful) and is designed to make it easy for organizations to choose the right product for their specific needs.
Keep an eye out for the full-blown announcement in the coming weeks/months.