Virtualization Takes Center Stage

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2006-03-07 Print this article Print

Both Intel and AMD are bringing virtualization to their processors, which they say will improve the performance of virtualization software and help make the technology more mainstream.

Another feature Intel is working on will help users deal more easily with the increased XML-based Web traffic. Intel is bringing its I/O Acceleration technology to its chips to help increase the speed of data. Now the company is turning that same focus to XML, which Gelsinger said already exceeds e-mail traffic and by next year will exceed all traffic on the Web.
The next generation of Intels Active Management Technology, which enhances users management capabilities, will offer technology that offers circuit breaker capabilities for added network protection.
In addition, Intel has released the specifications for its upcoming on-chip security feature, called LaGrande, Gelsinger said. Intel faces the future at its developer forum. Click here to read more. Dual- and multicore chips that ramp up performance while cutting energy consumption also will continue playing a key role, Gelsinger said. The upcoming dual-core Xeon MP—codenamed "Tulsa" and due out in the second half of the year—will include a host of features, such as memory sparing, that will increase the reliability of the chip. Gary Campbell, vice president and chief technology officer of Hewlett-Packards Enterprise Storage and Servers group, said the Palo Alto, Calif., company will refresh its ProLiant servers, blade systems and workstations with the upcoming Woodcrest and Dempsey processors. HP will use the more energy efficient chips with its own system-level technologies—such as small form factor Serial Attached SCSI drives—to help customers address power and heat concerns. HP is the among the top OEMs to use both Intel and AMD chips in its lineup. "Conroe," due out in the second half of the year, will offer a 40 percent performance boost while reducing energy consumption by the same amount, he said. Gelsinger said Intels dual-core ramp is on track—the company predicts that 85 percent of server chips and 70 percent of client processors shipped by the end of the year will be dual-core. Quad-core processors will start appearing next year as Intel moves to a 45-nanometer manufacturing process, he said. Gelsinger showed a rack with three systems from Dell, with two running upcoming dual-core Dempsey and Woodcrest chips. The third was running on an early version of Intels quad-core Xeon, codenamed "Clovertown." He also said that the presentations shown during his keynote were done on a PC running an early version of a quad-core client chip. One industry analyst said that, after a chaotic couple of years shifting its strategy away from simply cranking up the frequency of its chips to a more platform focused approach, Intel is getting back to where it was in 2001, when it was a more smoothly running machine. "Intel is definitely getting back on track," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight64. "What they showed today in terms of the performance of its new microarchitecture is impressive. And what it showed in terms of its power characteristics is equally impressive." This is good news for users, who now have quality products from AMD and Intel coming to market, rather than one outdistancing the other, Brookwood said. "Its not much fun watching a tennis match where one guy serves and the other guy never really returns the serve," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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