The approach taken by cloud service providers to hyper-scale data centers and virtual networking is driving the latest multicore processor developments. There are now more multicore processors available than ever before for cloud and networking applications, from the hyper-scale data center out to the network edge and the virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE). Processor and IP vendors are optimizing and extending 64-bit processor cores, and cache-coherent system architectures to deliver the best cloud service performance.
Cloud service providers such as Facebook and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) have not followed the market by using existing platforms but have developed cost-effective alternatives taking basic server components and packaging them into rack-scale architectures, and then making them available through the Open Compute Project (OCP) for anyone to manufacture. Network acceleration in this model is implemented in software or through intelligent network adapters. This approach has highlighted Intel’s dominant position and given competitors a blueprint into which they can slot their own processor solutions.