16-Core Servers? Do You Mean Hardware Virtualization? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Business/E-Business
Commentary
1/31/2011
03:23 PM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary
50%
50%

16-Core Servers? Do You Mean Hardware Virtualization?

Microsoft is reportedly calling for 16-core servers based on simple CPUs as way to save power. Could this spare us from software virtualization?

Microsoft is reportedly calling for 16-core servers based on simple CPUs as way to save power. Could this spare us from software virtualization?That part of cyberspace devoted to computer hardware gossip has been buzzing with a report that Microsoft is demanding that Intel cough up 16-core server CPUs based on the low-power Atom processor. The farther the news outlet was from Silicon Valley, the more definite the report became.

But, as usual, reality is messier. Microsoft engineer Dileep Bhandarkar gave the keynote address at the Linley Group's Data Center Conference in Silicon Valley last week, with the stated topic of energy efficiency in data centers.

His call for 16-core servers came as he pointed out that there is an opportunity to improve energy efficiency using small, low-power mobile processors like the Intel Atom or the upcoming AMD Bobcat. They are more efficient with average server workloads than high-end chips like the Intel Xeon, he reportedly said.

Meanwhile, he apparently did not say anything about improved performance through parallelization. Presumably, that's because he knows that adding cores does not trigger improved system performance unless the software is written to take advantage of the additional cores-a non-trivial task.

Instead, he reportedly talked about energy efficiency, implying that having 16 cores on a chip would let you share peripheral, current-hungry circuitry among 16 processors. In other words, instead of using software virtualization to run 16 applications on one machine, he'd prefer hardware virtualization with a machine that can run 16 applications in parallel, because it really is 16 machines.

Frankly, that sounds like a much simpler approach to the problem-at least from the SMB end-user viewpoint-and I hope he gets what he wants. Server designers may disagree, of course.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Commentary
Why IT Leaders Should Make Cloud Training a Top Priority
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/14/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Commentary
Lessons I've Learned From My Career in Technology
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/4/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll