The cloud is playing an increasingly important role as a competitive advantage for businesses, as it gives companies flexible access to IT services. But not all clouds are created equal. To be effective, the cloud—whether public or private—needs to be built on the right infrastructure in order to meet the rigorous demands of the business. And it needs to do so as affordably as possible.
With that in mind, Intel has been designing the Intel® Xeon®processor family for use in the cloud infrastructure. These processors provide high levels of performance for a range of workloads and improved security to protect sensitive business assets—ultimately providing a foundation for an agile, scalable cloud. As a result, many cloud service providers and individual companies are using Intel® Cloud Technology with the latest Intel® Xeon® processors as a key element in their cloud infrastructures.
Oracle’s approach to the cloud provides a clear case in point. Many of the company’s engineered systems are based on Intel® Xeon® processors, in keeping with Oracle’s focus on providing standard, cost-effective platforms that deliver performance and reliability. Some of these engineered systems include Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalytics, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance.
“We use these Intel-based systems as a foundation for many of our private cloud implementations and public cloud offerings and in our x86 servers,” says Sandra Cheevers, senior principal product director at Oracle. Oracle recently announced a number of additions to its Oracle Cloud Services platform and infrastructure offerings—including Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service and Oracle Big Data Cloud Service—that draw on these engineered systems.
Oracle’s extensive use of Intel-based systems underscores a fundamental reality: Intel technology can deliver high levels of performance and throughput, reliably and with a relatively low total cost of ownership. And that in turn can help cloud service providers and companies operating their own private clouds use technology to drive business benefits such as increased agility, reduced costs, and an improved ability to develop insights and drive innovation —and ultimately, enable them to use IT as a vital business asset, today and tomorrow.Delivering Performance for the Cloud
Today, the cloud is an area of strategic focus for Intel, and the company designs processors with the demands of cloud computing in mind. The company’s Intel® Cloud Technology features both the Intel® Xeon®processor E5 v3 and the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v3 families. These Intel® Xeon® processors enable cloud infrastructures to handle demanding, transaction-intensive workloads, from analytics and high-performance computing to a range of business-critical applications.
The Intel® Xeon® E5 v3 processor is also ideal for business-critical applications and is the CPU used for Exalogic and Oracle Private Cloud Appliance for running Oracle and other business–critical applications.”—Sandra Cheevers, Senior Principal Product Director, Oracle
For it’s part, the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 v3 family is designed to be a versatile data center “workhorse.” It includes foundational technology that delivers exceptional overall performance and processing efficiency. Its high throughput is particularly ideal for distributed environments and the parallel processing required for Apache Hadoop implementations, helping companies explore both structured and unstructured data and accelerate the development of business insights. “The Intel® Xeon® E5 v3 processor is also ideal for business-critical applications and is the CPU used for Exalogic and Oracle Private Cloud Appliance for running Oracle and other business-critical applications,” says Cheevers.
Meanwhile, the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v3 family—the processor ideal for the intense demands of in-memory computing— provides massive memory capacity for workloads such as real-time analytics. “The Intel® Xeon® E7 processor powers the Exadata X4-8 product line based on 8-socket servers, delivering Oracle’s largest memory footprint for large databases and extreme online transaction processing as well as real-time analytics,” says Cheevers. The Intel® Xeon® E7 v3 processors include Intel® Transactional Synchronization Extensions, enabling companies to process transactions in-memory with configurations that can grow to 8-socket systems and up to 12 terabytes of memory. That means that companies can easily scale up capacity to handle increasing workloads.
Both of these Intel® Xeon® processor families provide a number of features that help increase performance. For example, they offer built-in Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, which automatically allows processor cores to run faster than their rated operating frequency for short periods of time in order to maximize performance, enabling cloud services to quickly adjust to spikes in demand.
For companies relying on the cloud, the high levels of performance provided by Intel® Xeon® processors translate into more processing being done in less time, and a shorter time to business results— benefits that are especially significant when it comes to big data and other compute-intensive tasks. And all this helps reduce total cost of ownership while helping the business be more responsive and flexible.Staying Ahead of Change
That kind of performance, along with the continuing evolution of Intel processors, means that companies can easily keep up to date with changing IT and business demands by utilizing cloud services powered by Intel® Cloud Technology with the latest Intel® Xeon® processors. In recent tests, for example, the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v3 product family demonstrated a 3x improvement in performance over previous generations of the processors. Similarly, the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v3 family showed performance increases of up to 40% overall, and gains of up to 72% for analytics workloads, compared to previous generations. “With Intel® Cloud Technology based on the latest Intel® Xeon®processors, customers of cloud services can take advantage of industryleading performance generation over generation,” says Raejeanne Skillern, general manager, Cloud Service Provider Business at Intel Corporation. “That means that these cloud services are optimized to deliver business services faster and without interruption, including big data analytics, highperformance computing, and other business-critical workloads.”
Beyond high levels of performance, Intel® Xeon® processors provide built-in reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features that keep cloud services running smoothly. The Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v3 family, for example, provides more than 40 advanced RAS capabilities designed for 99.999% uptime and the always on enterprise.
Security, of course, is a fundamental concern with the cloud—and for Intel’s approach to the cloud. Intel® Cloud Technology helps protect sensitive business assets with foundational, hardware-assisted security capabilities, allowing companies to operate with secure, trusted cloud services. For instance, Intel® Data Protection Technology with Advanced Encryption Standard– New Instructions provides higher levels of encryption and security without slowing performance. That means that companies can make more-extensive use of encryption to keep more of their data confidential while in a cloud provider’s infrastructure—without worrying about slowing response times and overloading systems.
Overall, the use of Intel technology means that companies can take advantage of the cloud with confidence, enjoying high levels of performance without compromise. Looking ahead, Oracle and Intel are collaborating on several fronts to help companies get the most from their technology and, ultimately, the cloud. The cloud is still evolving— and Oracle and Intel are working together to drive that evolution, and enable companies to put the cloud to work in their businesses.
40% claim based on generational scaling of comparable 4x Intel Xeon processor E7-8890 v3 compared to E7-4890 v2 geometric mean average across 12 benchmark results; 72% claim based on SAS Mixed Analytics workload measuring sessions per hour using SAS Business Analytics 9.4 M2 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. See http:// www.intel.com/performance/datacenter for more details.
This advertorial was originally published in the August 2015 edition of Profit.
Intel and Oracle
For more information, visit www.intel.com/cloud
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