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Intel touts software-defined datacenter agenda ahead of IDF 2014

Following up VMware a few weeks ago, Intel is solidifying its own foundation and argument for the software-defined datacenter.

SAN FRANCISCO—The move to software-defined infrastructures is both critical and inevitable, according to one of Intel’s datacenter chiefs, Diane Bryant.

"The rise of the digital service economy is obviously continuing,” said Bryant, positing new digital IT services are being launched for every industry from education to healthcare.

Kicking off the annual Intel Developer Forum a little early on Monday, executives for the processor maker unveiled the new Xeon E5 v3 chip designed for this particular agenda .

As senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s datacenter group Bryant outlined three "very clear attributes of cloud computing" and infrastructure required for delivering digital IT services: on-demand scaling, low-cost operations, and consistent service delivery.

"I really want to reinforce the position that Xeon holds in networking,” Bryant asserted, explaining that as all the carriers are reconfiguring their networks from proprietary custom boxes to open, standards-based infrastructures, "Xeon is playing a critical role."

Bryant also stressed that software-defined infrastructures are the best way possible of pooling resources (storage, network, and compute), automated provisioning of these resources, and providing visibility into security and utilization.

These attributes, Bryant noted, drove the development of the new Xeon chip, turning the “foundation of the software-defined datacenter into a reality.”

"There is a clear value proposition to running all workloads on a common architecture,” Bryant insisted. From a hardware development perspective, she pointed toward common building blocks to achieve economies of scale and a simplified operating model after deployment.

With debut of the Intel E5 v3 processor, the tech giant has a slew of related introductions and upgrades on the way for delivering common architectures, including the first DDR4 memory implementation and improvements for its Data Plane Development Kit, Intelligent Storage Acceleration Library, Data Direct I/O, and QuickAssist technology for integrating embedded accelerators.

The Intel Xeon E5 v3 chip already shipping has more than 20 additional custom versions tailored to customer workload needs for industry partners including Microsoft and AT&T.

Also ahead of IDF's official opening, Intel and IBM announced a collaboration for IBM's SoftLayer unit. The hybrid cloud platform will be the first cloud vendor to sell bare metal cloud servers deployed with Intel monitoring and security tools.