Intel Invests Heavily in Virtualization

Friday Sep 3rd 2010 by David Needle
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Attempting to constrain its titanic infrastructure costs, the tech titan has put its chips on virtualization.

Few companies have as large a technical infrastructure as Intel, so the high profile vendor's decision to invest heavily in virtualization is a major endorsement of this data center technology.

Here at the VMworld conference this week, chip giant Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) -- as big a hardware proponent as any -- detailed its efforts to rein in spending on its own IT infrastructure, which includes a big investment in virtualization.

Intel's infrastructure currently includes some 100,000 servers and 95 data centers that span 440,000 square feet and use 18 petabytes of storage. "We have close to 60,000 servers in our design group alone," said Intel senior principal engineer Shesha Krishnapura.

As the world's leading supplier of chips, Intel's business continues to grow along with demands on its already massive infrastructure. Even though Intel looks ahead to a 35 percent year-over-year growth rate in demand for compute services, Krishnapura said the number of servers the company uses is actually going down thanks to virtualization from VMware (NYSE: VMW) and its own technology.

"We're actually seeing better throughput with virtualization and more efficient storage," said Krishnapura.

Intel is also experimenting with new ways to streamline access to IT resources. Krishnapura described a program called "cubicle cluster computing" that's being deployed to some of Intel's design sites that aren't located near one of the company's data centers.

Read the rest at ServerWatch.

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