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Core at the enterprise level

by Steve Kerrison on 8 March 2006, 21:36

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We know that Intel's new micro-architecture, Core, is being implemented across its entire CPU range, so let's get a bit more focused, and discuss how it's going to be used in servers.

The first thing to question is whether power-saving features are worthwhile in a server; surely such a thing should be left in a laptop. There was a time when power-saving meant lower performance, but the latest CPU designs leverage both improved performance and improved power saving, so there's no real hit, providing it's done properly, which seems to be the case in Core, Intel claiming 40% down on power consumption and 40% up on performance.

In a laptop, power-saving means longer batter life, and while that's not the case in a server, at the enterprise level it can still be hugely important. Power-saving means saving money and it also means less heat. Cramming servers into the datacenter leads to massive power bills and nasty heat management issues, CPUs being one of the biggest causes of the problem.

Needless to say, power isn't the only benefit to be had from Core, with Virtualisation technology playing a key part at the server level. Intel and VMware are working closely and will continue to do so, driving the uptake of virtualisation technology, performance and security enhanced by Core.

PCs within the enterprise will, of course, have Core in them as well and with it comes the aforementioned benefits. On a per-PC basis, the performance boost is more desirable than the power consumption drop, but combine an enterprise's PCs and there's a nice power bill to be cut.

By the end of this year, Intel expects Core to be the micro-architecture at the heart of a great number of new enterprise servers and desktops. We've seen reports recently of Google buying in a bunch of new Opteron servers, possibly for power consumption reasons, so by the end of the year, could the tables turn again once more?

Intel's press release has more on Intel intends to bring to the enterprise with Core.



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