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This week, Intel launched a raft of new processor technologies. Due to this, the amount of data that will be coursing through IT environments at any given time is about to exponentially increase.

Designed to address what Intel describes as a new era of data centric computing, the second-generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors can now process up to 36TB of data in memory, and it can now appear to applications as a form of persistent storage. Most stateful applications running on a database have historically required access to persistent storage in the form of a disk drive. However, Intel announced it has made it possible to access up to 36TB of persistent storage using Intel Optane DC persistent memory, which will enable a broad range of stateful applications to run orders of magnitude faster.

That innovation won’t eliminate the need for disk drives altogether, but does introduce a new tier of persistent storage that will be broadly applied both in local data centers and the cloud. For example, Intel notes that Intel Optane DC memory will make it possible to run up to 36 percent more virtual machines per 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, which can now be configured with up to 56 cores per processor.

Intel is adding instruction sets to its processors that will harden systems by enabling encryption to processed faster at the hardware level. These instruction sets will also make it possible to run virtual network functions (VNFs) faster. Intel is expanding on its effort to embrace new classes of processors such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to accelerate computing at the network edge.

What Intel’s efforts mean for MSPs

Put it all together and it’s clear that Intel is making a case of upgrading almost every aspect of the data center. That transition naturally creates all kinds of downstream opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs) that will be tasked with ushering in this new era of computing on behalf of their customers.

Much of this new era of computing is being driven by the rise of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). The amount of data that needs to be processed continues to exponentially increase. AI models based on machine and deep learning algorithms need access to massive amounts of data to be first trained and then continually updated. At the same time, analytics are being infused into applications to drive real-time computing experiences that are required to digitally transform business processes.

Of course, Intel is not the only processor manufacturer pursuing these opportunities. NVIDIA and AMD are now each a force to be reckoned with in the data center. Overall, increased diversity is usually a good thing for MSPs. It tends to make it more challenging to manage IT and increase the total cost of computing.

On the bright side, much of that increased cost comes in the form of the engineering expertise required to weave multiple systems together in a way that effectively drives an IT strategy. Naturally, finding and retaining that expertise can be a challenge. In the era of data centric computing, MSPs that have that expertise will likely find themselves more valuable to their customers than ever.

Photo: Raisaliya / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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