Intel, Oracle: Hardware, Software Optimization Server Refresh
White Paper: Executive Summary
The installed base of server systems has grown rapidly over the past 10 to 12 years, driven primarily by x86-based system growth. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, by 2009, x86-based servers accounted for more than 95% of the server unit shipments and for more than 50% of the revenue in the server market.
Following a year of project delays and deferrals in 2009, many IT organizations are planning technology refresh for their aging x86 servers—especially those that are more than three years old. Many net-new technologies have become available in the marketplace over the past three years—and IT organizations will benefit in terms of IT efficiency, power/cooling, performance, and scalability that simply were not shipping in 2007 and earlier. New capabilities in x86 processors will provide support for more demanding enterprise workloads and for larger groups of end users.
There are many drivers for the refresh wave that is expected worldwide; for example, more powerful multicore processors as well as denser configurations of servers with more memory, higher I/O, and faster onboard bandwidth to speed overall system throughput. These technical improvements support workload consolidation—allowing sites to gather up workloads that had been running on large numbers of older x86 servers. To the extent that consolidation takes place, power/cooling costs can be reduced because more powerful workloads are running on fewer individual server footprints.
There are many reasons to refresh servers, including replacing systems that are no longer functional, meeting the compute demands required by new business requirements, or saving energy and cutting costs with new, more efficient systems, or a combination of all of the reasons. The technology available in servers has changed rapidly, giving end users increased ability to build more flexible and efficient environments. The hardware is more powerful and efficient, and a series of capabilities on x86 processors, such as enhanced support for virtualization, have improved users' ability to maximize the use and flexibility of their servers and to consolidate workloads on them. Some of the drivers for change are underutilized systems, space and power constraints, operating expenses, and business growth.
Read the full Intel, Oracle White Paper.