IBM is using the processors as the basis for its new NeXtScale x86 system, which officials said will be aimed at such workloads as cloud computing, social media, analytics and technical computing in large data centers and cloud environments. NeXtScale will run up to 84 x86-based systems and 2,016 cores in a standard 19-inch rack, creating a flexible environment for a range of workloads. The system, aimed at such workloads as cloud and high-performance computing, will be released in October, Roland Hagen, vice president of IBM System x marketing, said. Storage units based on the new Xeon chips will roll out in November, and networking systems and others that incorporate GPU accelerators and Xeon Phi co-processors will come next year.
There has been speculation this year that Lenovo has been negotiating with IBM to buy Big Blue’s x86 server business. However, Hagen said IBM is committed to investing $1 billion over the next three years on System x research and development.
At IDF, Lenovo officials previewed upcoming ThinkServer rack systems that will use the Xeon E5-2600 v2 chips. The systems, which will be announced later this year, also will include Lenovo’s Smart Grid technology, which leverages Intel’s Node Manager Technology for policy-based management.
Supercomputer maker Cray said its XC30 Series of systems and CS300 line of cluster supercomputers are available with the new chips, while SGI is supporting the chips in its ICE X supercomputers, Rackable line of servers and Modular InfiniteStorage systems. Cisco upgraded its Unified Computing System (UCS) lineup with the new Intel chips.
Amazon Web Services also will offer users of its cloud computing services systems running the new chips, Ariel Kelman, head of worldwide marketing for Amazon Web Services, said.
Intel’s Bryant also noted how the systems will enable new storage and networking solutions that will help push the software-defined data center vision. In addition, Intel announced its Network Builders Program aimed at encouraging partners to leverage Intel processor technology to build solutions around software-defined networking (SDN).
Networking represents a key growth area for Intel in the data center. While the company has about 93 percent of the server chip market, and is in about 80 percent of storage systems, currently only about 10 percent of networking products run on Intel chips, Bryant said. The company earlier this year unveiled SDN and switch reference architectures called “Sunrise Trail” and “Seacliff Trail.” The Network Builders Program—similar to the Cloud Builders Program the company already rolled out—adds to Intel’s networking push.