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Cloud Architecture Optimized for Software-Defined Infrastructure

Intel® Rack Scale Architecture accelerates service delivery through a software-composable system that delivers greater performance and low total cost of ownership.

Data centers are under severe pressure to meet the growing demands of cloud, big data, mobile, and social collaboration applications. Yet today’s data centers are built on traditional architectures that can take days or weeks to provision new services and typically run with low server utilization, limiting efficiency and flexibility while driving up costs.

Cloud Adoption Driving Data Center Innovation

The evolution of cloud platforms is enabling greater efficiency via the delivery of elasticity, self-provisioning, and standards-based interfaces in the data center.

Intel® Rack Scale Architecture takes efficiency and rapid service provisioning a big step further by re-architecting today’s cloud platforms to help data centers handle always-on, ever-increasing demands. It takes the efficiency, flexibility, and elasticity capabilities of cloud to the next level.

The Next Step in Data Center Efficiency

Intel® Rack Scale Architecture is a logical architecture that disaggregates compute, storage, and network resources and introduces the ability to pool these resources for more efficient utilization of assets. It simplifies resource management and provides the ability to dynamically compose resources based on workload-specific demands.

The new architecture brings significantly increased performance and lower total cost of ownership. More specifically, Intel® Rack Scale Architecture can:

  • Accelerate service delivery through a software-composable system and rapid provisioning for applications.
  • Improve operational efficiency through increased resource utilization and interoperability.
  • Enable a smaller IT unit of required capacity, reduce SKU inventory, and enable resource-specific upgrades.

Intel Rack Scale Architecture uses compute, fabric, storage, and management modules that work together to build a wide range of virtual systems. The design uses four basic pillars, which can be configured based on the needs of your solution stack.

  • Pod Manager for multi-rack management are firmware and software APIs that enable resource and policy management and expose the hardware below and the orchestration layer above via a standard interface.
  • Pooled system of compute, network, and storage resources are composed based on workload requirements.
  • Pod-wide storage built on Ethernet-connected storage uses storage algorithms to support a range of usages deployed as a multi-rack resource or storage hardware and compute nodes with local storage.
  • A configurable network fabric of hardware, interconnect with cables and backplane, and management software supports a wide range of cost-effective network topologies, including current top-of-rack switch designs and distributed switches in the platforms.

Intel is Accelerating Rack Scale Architecture

Intel is supporting rack scale architecture with innovative products and an ecosystem of hardware and software developers that, by working with industry initiatives and standards organizations, can help bring Intel® Rack Scale Architecture to market. 

Intel® processor platforms provide the foundation for compute, storage, and networking, and the reference architecture includes an Intel Rack Scale Architecture developer’s kit with documentation, firmware, APIs, and a software platform for partners to use to accelerate adoption.

Intel is enabling a standards-based ecosystem of software and hardware developers to deliver segment and customer-unique solutions with speed, reliability, and scale. We are also working closely with key industry initiatives such as Project Scorpio, the Open Compute Project, Redfish, and the Scalable Platforms Management Forum (SPMF) of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF)  to deliver a common baseline set of Intel Rack Scale Architecture APIs. We are already conducting proofs of concept with several end-user businesses that are moving forward as early adopters of Intel Rack Scale Architecture.

Intel® Rack Scale Architecture: Implementation Time Line

Intel® Rack Scale Architecture is being released in a phased approach.