The World's First Servers with Vertically Scalable CPUs Hit the Market

by admin March 30, 2020 at 10:34 pm

(Image credit: Xeon)

When Intel first introduced its Xeon Scalable processor family back in 2017, the data center industry welcomed it excitement. This was the company’s “biggest data center advancement in a decade,” which promised to lay “the new foundation for secure, agile, multi-cloud data centers.”

Two years later, Intel rolled out 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor platform that provides even greater performance efficiencies, built-in AI acceleration, and lower TCO. 

2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors in Brief

The greatest data-centric innovation by Intel aims to address the accelerated demand for compute, storage, network, and memory. The 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Platform includes more core and memory capacities than any previous generation, and for the first time includes Intel Optane Persistent Memory and Intel Deep Learning Boost. 

Its key capabilities enable data center providers to deliver high-performance, workload-optimized services without increasing energy or hardware consumption. In addition to this, the platform provides foundation for unique deployments such as FlexServers by phoenixNAP. 

(Image credit: Xeon)

Innovating upon Intel Speed Select Technology (Intel SST), FlexServers are the world’s first deployment that allows for vertical CPU scaling across multiple performance configurations with a simple server reboot. This translates into a whole new level of flexibility and scalability that enables modern organizations to optimize their IT resource consumption. 

Let’s dig deeper into what this unprecedented agility can enable data center users to achieve. 

Vertical CPU Scaling with a Reboot

The key innovation that FlexServers brought to the data center market is the ability to switch among seven different CPU core-count and frequency configurations without having to change any hardware components. This is made possible by Intel SST, the technology that allows for multiple configurations to be made on a single server. That way data center providers can better meet fluctuating workloads, while users benefit from optimized performance. 

The seven different CPU settings can support varying performance demands and each include built-in AI acceleration fueled by Intel DL Boost, enabling users to quickly scale processing power and seize opportunities whenever they arise. No additional hardware or software installations are needed, which eliminates provisioning bottlenecks. 

Users can request a reboot at any point and the server is reset the same day, while the charges are applied accordingly. 

This model is ideal for organizations handling highly dynamic workloads or projects with high performance demands. They can use more powerful CPUs at peak times or for projects that grow quickly and shift to a less powerful one when their performance demand changes. 

The available configurations include: 

  • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y(20 cores ×2.2GHz), Comparable to 2x  Xeon Silver 4210 Processors
  • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y(32 cores ×2.3GHz), Comparable to 2x Xeon Gold 5218 Processors 
  • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y(24 cores ×2.7GHz), Comparable to 2x Xeon Gold 6226 Processors
  • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y(40 cores ×2.1GHz), Comparable to 2x Xeon Gold 6230 Processors 
  • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y(32 core ×2.7GHz), Comparable to 2x Xeon Gold 6242 Processors 
  • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y(40 cores ×2.5GHz), Comparable to 2x Xeon Gold 6248 Processors 
  • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260Y(48 cores ×2.4GHz), Comparable to 2x Xeon Platinum 8260 Processors 

The servers were released in late 2019 and have generated a great interest among users with high performance demands. They are available on phoenixNAP’s multiple global locations and can be bought at competitive prices that scale with the performance supplied. 

By allowing for easy performance optimization, FlexServers also allow for significant cost-savings. Without having to upgrade the server every time their demand for performance changes, organizations can more efficiently allocate their IT budgets. 

Intel Optane Persistent Memory 

(Image credit: Xeon)

Besides the vertical CPU scaling capability, the 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platform supports Intel Optane Persistent Memory

With unprecedented capacity of 512 GB/per module , this solution provides a whole lot of opportunities. It has high read/write speeds and is non-volatile, combining the efficiencies of DRAM and persistent data storage of SSD. With high data density and low latency, it is just the type of hardware component that today’s organizations need in order to process big data, AI workloads, and streaming services. 

Custom Options with phoenixNAP

The vertical CPU scaling and support for Intel Optane Persistent Memory are the two major aspects that differentiate FlexServers from many cloud servers out there.  

Working with phoenixNAP, Intel demonstrated how innovations on  its latest processor platform can enable more flexibility and value for customers. As Jason Grebe, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Cloud Platforms and Technology Group at Intel, said in the associated launch announcement: 

“Intel strives to introduce capabilities in our platforms that increase value for cloud service end-users and simplify their IT operations. phoenixNAP is now offering our new, unique software-configurable 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors that enable users to precisely dial in the optimal performance level for their workloads and budget on the same server.”

More info and pricing available on the FlexServers page.

phoenixNAP is a global Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider with 16 data centers and network PoPs in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Its portfolio of services includes dedicated servers, public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions, colocation and hardware-as-a-service, as well as backup and disaster recovery services.

phoenixNAP’s and Intel have collaborated for years and have successfully deployed multiple innovative solutions.

Intel, the Intel logo, Optane and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

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