Intel’s New Xeon: End of RISC, Start of Analytics, Both, Or?
Feb19

Intel’s New Xeon: End of RISC, Start of Analytics, Both, Or?

Focusing on Big Data intelligence and real-time analytics – and delivering more than a few shots at its RISC-based server competitors – Intel took the wraps off the 20 new models in the Xeon Processor E7 v2 family, AKA Ivy Bridge EX. Featuring 2X the performance, 3X memory capacity, 4X I/O bandwidth, and 5X reliability (99.999%), as well as 20 world records for mission-critical performance, the new CPUs deliver up to 80% more performance and up to 80% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than alternative RISC architectures, according to Diane Bryant, SVP & GM, Intel’s Data Center Group. During the webcast announcing the new platform, Bryant said data analytics has become a high priority, the number one priority, and is expected to grow 6X between 2014-2018. “Those that lead are clearly winning.” Big Data, the Internet of Things (projected to grow to 30 billion devices by 2020) and analytics are huge opportunities that Intel intends to capture a larger share of. It said the Big Data technology and services market is expected to grow 27% annually through 2017 to reach $32.4 billion. Using analytics can also deliver significant cost savings, the company stated. For example, Intel’s IT organization expects to achieve cost savings and increased bottom-line revenue of nearly half a billion dollars through use of analytics solutions by 2016. More than 40 servers from 21 system manufacturers are being announced, from the likes of Asus, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Lenovo, NEC, Oracle and Supermicro. Software vendors are also jumping on the analytics bandwagon, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Pivotal, Red Hat, SAP, SAS, Software AG and Teradata. So is this mainly about bringing advanced analytics to the masses, burying the already struggling RISC competition, both, or neither? While the performance numbers are impressive, they don’t really impact the cost (high) of analytics software and the shortage (also high) of business analysis/data scientist skills. “On the analytics side, the real momentum seems to be largely around x86-based solutions like SAPs HANA so the E7v2 should do very well there,” said Charles King, President & Principal Analyst,Pund-IT. The implications for the RISC market are a little murkier, he said. “The RISC shrinkage issue is more complicated since at least some of the preference for those systems is essentially generational. Realistically, the dramatic improvements in memory support and throughput performance of E7v2, coupled with what Intel expects will be extremely competitive pricing will likely increase the pressure on Unix system sales, including both RISC and EPIC solutions.” According to Gartner’s latest numbers, the Q3 server market grew 1.9% while revenue shrank 2.1%. The x86 platform did better in...

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