Networking

Intel launches new products to prepare the network for the future of cloud

On Monday, Nov. 9, Intel announced three new product lines to improve data center and network performance for the cloud age. Here's a summary of the announcements.

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Image: Intel

As more and more devices get "connected," and web traffic continues to increase, it's obvious that some changes will need to be made to both the network and the data center to accommodate these shifts.

On Monday, Nov. 9, Intel announced three new products that it said is to help transition to a cloud-ready communications network. The announcements came as part of a live-streamed event hosted by Sandra Rivera, vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group.

Rivera opened up by citing two relevant data points. First, she mentioned a study that predicts 50 billion connected devices by 2020, which will add new pressures and strains on the network. The second was that by 2019, the amount of data traversing the network worldwide will reach 2ZB (zettabytes).

Due to advancements in software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV), what happened in computing is now happening throughout the network. Traditionally, you used to have a physical appliance for a router, another for VPN, and yet another for the firewall. As we move to a more agile network, many of these aspects are going virtual and sharing the same resources. Add SDN, and there's more intelligence and control, Rivera said.

Still, there is much to be done to fully prepare for the potential of these predictions.

Intel has done some work in TXT, and DDIO, among other things, to help create more performant infrastructure to help with the transition. Rivera also noted their contributions to open source in Linux and OpenStack, as well as their work on open reference architectures.

To drive 5G, Intel recently announced the Intel network Builders fast track program, as well as new partnerships with América Móvil and SK telecom. However, to better prepare their customers for the potential infrastructure issues to come with increased cloud adoption, Intel announced three new products for the data center and networking operations.

Rivera was joined onstage by senior principal engineer, Hang Nguyen, to go over the new products, starting with the Intel FM10000 ethernet multi-host controller. Nguyen said it is the first Intel product to integrate a switch and an ethernet controller. It supports network services headers (NSH) and has an integrated engine to drive packet processing up to 960 million packets per second. One of the goals is to enable scalable processor performance as it can route traffic from the data center to the network through multiple ethernet speeds (1/10/25/40/100 gigabit).

The second announcement was that of the Intel X550 dual 10GbE controller. Boasting a very small form factor and low power, Nguyen said that they could see it working well with edge routers, switches, and firewalls, as well as IoT devices where form factor is a constraint.

The third and final reveal was that of the Intel Xeon processor D product line. The eight new SOC processors will have up to 16 cores and boast a 3-6X improvement over previous model lines like the Atom, Nguyen said. The 4-core and 8-core models are available now, and the 12-core and 16-core models will be available sometime in Q1 2016.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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