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Intel bets big on its datacenter business and AI in 2017

Soumik Ghosh & Shraddha Singh | Dec. 13, 2016
Prakash Mallya, Head–Datacenter Group (Asia) shares Intel’s vision for the datacenter market, and explains the company’s foray into AI.

Intel bets big on its datacenter business and AI in 2017

With the evolution of computing, the volume, velocity, and variety of data is exploding at a scale the enterprise is finding hard to grapple with. And it's this phenomenon that propels Intel to surf the next big wave of computing across datacenters, high performance computing, and AI.

Here's what Prakash Mallya, the man at the helm of Intel's datacenter group, believes will help the company stay ahead of its game.

What does the datacenter business mean for Intel's portfolio?

Datacenter is a significant and growing part of our portfolio. Our results have been growing in double digits in the recent past and has accelerated significantly.

It is a significant proportion of our operating margins and growth portfolio, and our expectation is that it will continue to grow in double digits.

If you look our investments, we are starting to invest pretty significantly, and a couple of investments which come to mind are the Ortella and Nervana acquisitions.

We are moving forward with integrating their map with ours and we see it has a very interesting thing in the AI space - a buzzing and one of the fastest growing workload in the datacenter space.

Has Intel changed its approach in the datacenter space? How so?

If you look at our investments and if you look at where the datacenter business is headed, at the highest level we would see this getting 'horizontalized'.

So from a proprietary approach, we made it horizontal. Now if you see in the last seven years, we have progressed to include storage and network.

Network transformation on open standard based technology, orchestrated by software is still a distance off because we have just begun the journey of network workloads getting virtualized, hence being able to drive tremendous amount of agility for network players.

If you look at everything on the infrastructure side - compute, storage and network are getting virtualized - orchestrated by software.

It gives us tremendous amount of cost advantages. If you can work compute, storage and network seamlessly and manage the workloads across all three on a software basis, then it would be very flexible and it will make the changes on the fly. Now this is not possible today because that's the way the datacenters are orchestrated on the server and various other levels, which gives you limited flexibility.

What's Intel's channel partner strategy in India for 2017

Channel partners for us is the traditional business - the likes of Lenovo, Acer, the OEMs. And when we're getting into a solutions space, we'll have a new set of partners, like the system integrators, such as Wipro, TCS, Infosys, or L&T.


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