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Intel tightens up Westmere security

Promises wide open spaces in data centres

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Intel will add additional security instructions to the Westmere server chips due later this month, the firm told journalists at Cebit today.

Westmere-EP and the Nehalem-Ex chips also due in the next few weeks are Intel's two-fisted response to AMD's Magny-Cours launch, also due to hit IT managers this spring.

At a briefing today Boyd Davis, general manager at Intel's data center marketing organisation, played out Intel's mantra that the new platform would allow massive amounts of server consolidation, and deliver gains in power efficiency. The vendor's current marketing strategy appears to be centred on telling IT managers to scrap anything more than four years old.

Davis said the additional security instructions would speed up RSA handshakes by 42 per cent, and deliver an 11 times speed increase in AES encryption.

The vendor is promising other astonishing numbers for the platform, including replacing 15 (four or more years old) servers for one.

In terms of energy efficiency, Davis said it delivered the same performance as its predecessor at less power.

Another amazing stat on Davis's slides was a claimed five month return on investment, again following the same sort of line Intel is pushing across its chip range.

The chip is already in production, he said.

For the Nehalem-EX, Westmere's bigger brother aimed at four way and above systems, Intel is claiming a nine times increase in memory bandwidth and a 2.2X boost in floating point performance.

Nehalem-EX's special sauce comes in the form of a score of RAS features, including MAC recovery, appearing for the first time in Intel's Xeons.

ROI for the Nehalem-EX should be one year, Intel claims, with the vendor claiming a 20 to 1 ratio for replacing aging servers at the same performance level.

One is of course left wondering what IT managers will do with all this extra space they've reclaimed in their data centres. We think we know what Intel will suggest you shove in it. ®

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