Intel® Technology powers Microsoft Azure

Microsoft's Azure infrastructure scales with Intel® processors and FPGA's to provide the flexibility and performance for all types of workloads.



One of the challenges we have in the cloud is that we have to accommodate a variety of different kinds of workloads, anything from email, through databases, through machine learning. So all these workloads are extremely demanding. They require extreme compute processing, and network processing, and storage processing. You have to have a base platform that can scale with the demands of these workloads.

Intel's Xeon scalable processor allows us to meet these demanding requirements. The higher core counts, the increased memory bandwidth, the new instructions, such as AVX-512 all come together to provide that new capability for these workloads. The Microsoft Project Olympus platform, which is based on Intel Xeon scalable processors and Intel FPGAs, provides us with a degree of flexibility and performance that helps us to meet the emerging demands of the cloud. The Intel FPGAs that we are using in Azure help create a configurable cloud that can scale with the demands of these workloads.

We see a trend in the data center space, AI and big data analytics coming close together to power the next generation of enterprise applications. The Intel Xeon processors, when combined with the Intel FPGAs, they're extremely positive combination to solve the challenges we see with AI.

Microsoft has built the industry's largest deployment of FPGAs for accelerating deep neural networks. Intel accelerators such as Intel Xeon Phi, Intel FPGAs, and Intel Nervana, along with their optimized set of libraries for applications, all provide the new level of productivity and performance to make deploying insightful applications in an easier and more powerful way than ever before. And the combination of all of these new technologies is what allows us to offer flexibility and scalability for these demanding applications in the cloud.