Intel launches new line of processors with the ability to monitor application resources

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Credit: Jonathan Vanian

Intel is ready for the software-defined data centers and is launching a line of capable new chips that will handle the larger memory needs and even contain sensing technology to better deliver application resource monitoring.

The software-defined data center crowd is looking for a type of architecture in which resources like storage, compute and networking can be pooled together; through this pooling together of resources, users set up automatic provisioning so that the appropriate amount of resources can be distributed based on an application.

And Intel’s much-anticipated E5-2600/1600 v3 family line of processors is now available to help deliver on that vision with 65 systems ready to ship and another 250 scheduled for shipping in another 30 days, said Diane Bryant (pictured above), SVP and General Manger of Intel’s data center group, during a press conference Monday detailing the news.

The E5 v3 family comes stocked with 18 cores per socket, which Bryant said makes for a 50 percent increase over the previous generation’s Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors. This will also be Intel’s first system to ship with DDR4 memory and will result in a 1.4 times increase in workload performance, said Bryant.

With telemetry sensors and thermal sensors built into the new processors, users can run firmware that will be able to monitor the performance levels of their data center in regards to airflow, CPU and memory utilization, temperature and other metrics. Being able to monitor performance will help users understand when resources are oversubscribed, which can result in lower application performance, said Bryant.

Intel's new processor family

Intel’s new processor family

The monitoring software will also alleviate the “noisy neighbor” problem in which a particular virtual machine (VM) hogs all the resources of other VMs, hurting performance. Intel’s monitoring software can supposedly pinpoint when a VM is sucking up too many resources and alert users.

“This [processor] has cache monitoring,” said Bryant. “The data passed to the orchestration layer, [the processor] can watch where the power is happening and can take action.”

In addition to the announcement, Bryant said that [company]Intel[/company] will also be shipping out 20 custom versions of its new processor to meet the needs of its clients. Intel has been working with [company]Microsoft[/company] on a custom processor to help the Redmond-based giant build out its cloud data centers, she said.

“We are very excited about the role this new platform is going to play as we re-architect the data center,” Bryant said. “We’ve gone from siloed property to now open standards running on a common architecture.”

Earlier this summer during Gigaom’s Structure event, Intel detailed how it was building a chip that contained both a Xeon processor and a field-programmable gate array to help boost performance. Today’s news is one step closer to the launch of the new hybrid chips, slated to be used in production environments by next year.

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