Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

Summary: Intel doesn't do wimpy chips and made its name pushing performance. But just in case this crazy microserver thing takes off Intel wants you to know it has a master plan.

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Intel doesn't do wimpy chips and made its name pushing performance. But just in case this crazy ARM-based microserver thing takes off Intel wants you to know it has a master plan.

In a briefing Tuesday, Intel executives rolled out its plan for microservers, small low-power units that are used in large-scale environments deployed by the likes of Facebook. The plan: Release new Xeons that are built for microservers.

ARM Holdings has been very clear that it wants to take a chunk of the server market---specifically Intel's piece of the pie. Intel, however, has worked with Seamicro, Dell, Supermicro and others to show that its chips can be used as low-power server processors too.

Now the Xeon roadmap includes microservers, which are expected to be about 10 percent of the overall server market in the next four to five years.

Here's a look at Intel's money slide from its microserver talk:

Intel also launched a microserver lab and brought out Gio Coglitore, director of Facebook Labs, to talk microservers. According to Coglitore, Facebook has been experimenting with microservers and may plot a big deployment in late 2011 or 2012.

Now Intel would argue that high powered chips are the best choice in most cases. A Google paper also makes that case. But if the market wants wimpy, Intel will do that too.

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Topics: Servers, Hardware, Intel, Networking, Processors

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10 comments
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  • SOHO's, SMB's and enthusiasts will benefit from this

    I've often said that there is a huge market for SFF servers for SMB's and SOHO businesses. Home enthusiasts looking for a better-than-a-NAS device are also well suited to a full-featured server computer for housing all their home media. I know that we've had a great success selling Mini-ITX/DTX server systems based on SuperMicro's Atom boards. I'd like to see the server platforms include more capable (but power-friendly) server-grade processors. One application is for a media streaming server to do video transcoding. A lot of current processors will do this extremely well (think AMD Fusion). The big problem is that there aren't a lot of server-centric motherboard options with features like BMC, dual GbE, and no audio, along with Windows Server validation.
    Joe_Raby
    • RE: Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

      @Joe_Raby
      A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views.
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      jackfolla
  • RE: Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

    This is really great. As a home office worker, I could really use this and run my systems smoothly.
    Ram U
  • There will be a HUGE market for servers that can do the same job with less

    watts, but, take longer to do it. That said, a lot of work loads are time critical, and companies will be willing to throw more watts at a workload so that individual jobs complete faster.
    DonnieBoy
  • And, no reason to call them micro servers, they can be MASSIVE, they just

    use less watts for the same throughput, but, of course individual jobs will take longer to complete.
    DonnieBoy
  • RE: Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

    Excellent! The single biggest step one can take in a data center to improve overall energy consumption is to use the lowest power processor to get the job done. This is Step One of a ten-step Energy Logic road map for data center energy efficiency.

    Congratulations to Intel for getting on board with the concept!

    http://www.emerson.com/edc/page/Energy-Logic-Actions.aspx
    jpouchet
  • RE: Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

    Microservers are meh, its better to have large powerful servers than a bunch of weak ones
    Jimster480
    • Not always

      @Jimster480

      I would say that redundancy is easier on a hardware level with more cheap chips than fewer more-expensive ones. Also, there's the argument that virtualization is just another form of vendor lock-in.
      Joe_Raby
      • RE: Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

        I would say that redundancy is easier on a hardware level with more cheap chips than fewer more-expensive ones. Also, there's the argument that virtualization is just another form of vendor lock-in. <a href="http://www.affordabledegrees.com/ADA/mp.asp">online masters degree</a> | <a href="http://www.affordabledegrees.com/ADA/ap.asp">online associate degree</a> | <a href="http://www.affordabledegrees.com/ADA/dp.asp">online doctorate degree</a> | <a href="http://www.affordabledegrees.com/ADA/hp.asp">diploma high school</a>
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  • RE: Intel builds its microserver, ARM hedges

    Having previously used some Small Form Factor Dell 1U servers in the past, there is a huge potential market for SFF server that fit in a standard wallmount comms cabinet, with a small similar sized UPS protecting it.

    Same size as a Switch, 2-4 SAS 1Tb drives, Dual NIC, a handful of USB ports, HDMI outpout. Little else would be needed.
    neilpost