Intel's next big leap, its six-core chip, set for release

Intel's Xeon 7400 chip takes aim at virtualization

The six-core Xeon was built on a single piece of silicon, unlike Intel's quad-core chips which are built from two dual-core chips. As a result of the improvements in Dunnington, Brookwood said it handles caching much better, improving performance. He called it "the best multiple core chip that Intel has introduced to date."

With six cores, Brookwood said users can consolidate more VMs in one physical server, and being able to do so improves the management of the VMs. The risk is that if that physical server should fail for any reason, it can affect lots of people, Brookwood said.

The increased number of cores not only lend themselves to managing more workloads, but six core systems will also take up less space in a data center and use less power, said Rich Partridge, an analyst at Ideas International Ltd in Rye Brook, N.Y. For some users, "having a consolidated server that is more efficiently managed is very attractive," he said.

Partridge also said Intel is seeking to appeal to users who have typically turned to Unix and RISC-based systems to operate large workloads. But he also said the target audience for this server isn't users who want to run one workload across six cores, but those who want to manage multiple apps across a hypervisor.

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