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Intel outlines vision for transformation of the data centre

Matthew Finnegan | Sept. 12, 2014
The enterprise data centre will be transformed by technologies such as silicon photonics, rack scale architecture and software defined systems in the near future, claims Intel, saying these technologies will help businesses meet demand for digital services.

The enterprise data centre will be transformed by technologies such as silicon photonics, rack scale architecture and software defined systems in the near future, claims Intel, saying these technologies will help businesses meet demand for digital services.

Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Diane Bryant, general manager of the firm's data centre group, laid out the company's vision for infrastructure development. She said that current architectures are the main "limiter" as businesses come to terms with big data analytics, billions of connected devices and critical workloads.

"When we look out in the not so different future we believe that the data centre will look quite different from today," she said.

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"It will have moved from where applications are static to dynamic, from operations which are manual to where it is fully automated, and from siloed proprietary solutions to pooled, open and efficiently managed systems running on a common architecture."

Software defined systems

For Intel, the ability to pool compute, storage and network resources through software defined systems will be key to future data centre architectures.

"Infrastructure has got be easier to deploy, it has got to scale on demand, it has got to be fully automated and it needs to deliver a consistent guaranteed user experience," she said, adding that software defined infrastructure has become "critical and inevitable" for the industry.

But with the software defined data centre concept still in its infancy, Intel is one of the many companies that are collaborating on the creation of standards to spur deployments. This has meant particpating in the OpenStack project, with Intel one of the top code contributors to the Swift part of the project, Bryant said, as well as providing performance optimisations for Ceph storage.

Meanwhile network virtualisation, which has begun to transform the infrastructure used by telecoms firms, is also set to trickle down to the enterprise, a market expected to be worth in the region of $50 billion to suppliers.

Intel said it now has 85 partners, including Oracle, HP, Citrix, and Dell, signed up to for its Network Builders Program as it aims to encourage adoption of software defined networking.

Rack scale architectures

The next step for software defined systems is the adoption of the rack scale architectures announced by Intel last year.

The company has been working with a "growing list" of OEDMs, OEMs, ISVs and open source organisations to replace traditional architectures with pooled and disaggregated computing, networking and storage resources using modular hardware.

 

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