SEATTLE--SUPERCOMPUTING 2011--Intel Corp. will follow in Dell Inc. and HP Co.’s footsteps in terms of providing software and management services for its enterprise platform offerings according to general manager of the EPSD group, Lisa Graff.
Speaking at a press briefing at SC11 in Seattle on Tuesday (Nov. 15), Graff said her group was pushing out more of the software “recipes” and services customers had been requesting, to help tackle virtualization in more of a push-button fashion, making it easier to manage.
With increasing numbers of small and medium businesses buying servers and high end machines, Graff said it was important that the hardware become easier to configure and manage.
Intel is also tripling its number of enterprise platform design SKUs – from boards to systems - and bringing them to market at various pricing levels, so as to make them more affordable to smaller businesses interested in storage, cloud or HPC.
“We needed more products, because there were gaps,” Graff said, noting that 22 SKUs would be available by the first half of 2012.
The upcoming generation of products will feature new server board sizes and socket options, said Graff, including the Sandy Bridge chipset, a selection of new chassis and a plethora of software to make virtualization, data recovery, backup, RAID and hardware management much simpler for the end user.
“This is really just an extension of what we’ve done before,” said Graff noting that the EPSD unit had had a considerable software team for some time, working on industry standard offerings to package with its hardware.
“It’s an interesting way to get a bigger slice of the pie,” commented analyst David Kanter from Real World Technologies, noting that the move was somewhat of an encroachment on partners HP and Dell’s territory of adding software as a value-add to server hardware, and a lucrative approach in terms of boosting margins.
Graff, however, would not be drawn into commenting on whether the move put Intel in competition with its partners, saying only that Intel had increased its services based on customer demand.
The firm is also touting its latest lineup of server motherboards ready to support the upcoming Intel Xeon E5 Sandy Bridge processors, which Graff called “the most power efficient mainboards yet.”
Graff also said Intel was especially proud to have 10 computer systems in the TOP500 list based on Intel’s Xeon E5 processors, with six of those coming from the EPSD group.
“We’re just thrilled to have this kind of result,” she said.