For the first years of Azure, Microsoft purchased standard x86 servers and off the shelf hardware from OEMs. As Azure grew, we began using custom hardware to deliver a high performance, scalable and flexible solutions for our 1st and 3rd party customers. Today, Azure innovates not just through services, but through our hardware infrastructure as well to support a wide range of traditional and emerging workloads.
Intel has been a premier platform partner for Project Olympus and the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor, code named Skylake, will be a cornerstone for this new platform. Azure has also worked closely with Intel to drive Intel Arria 10 FPGAs, which are deployed on every single Project Olympus server, to create a “Configurable Cloud” that can be reconfigured and optimized to support a diverse set of applications and functions.
We designed Project Olympus with the ability to accommodate a variety of workloads from email to databases, machine learning, and even AI. Some of these workloads have extremely demanding profiles for compute, storage networking, and IO. This requires a base platform that can scale with demands of current and emerging workloads. Intel Xeon Scalable Processors allow us to have a platform with the ability to scale resources as needed. Whether it’s more cores, memory bandwidth, IO, or the new Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512) instructions, Intel Xeon Scalable Processors and Intel FPGAs provide a degree of flexibility and performance that allows us to meet the emerging demands of the cloud.
We hold steady with our intent for Project Olympus to provide a blueprint for future hardware development and collaboration. We also look forward to the continued collaboration with Intel in designing and building the highest performing, most flexible, and secure clouds possible.