Nehalem is proving Intel’s own ‘cash machine’


This was a switch. Usually when a vendor offers customer case studies, it’s the customer with the big story to tell. So I was quite willing to hear IT managers discuss how Intel’s Nehalem had saved them money. Remember when Intel launched Nehalem and Pat Gelsinger called it a “cash machine?” Well, as it turned out, Intel had the best story to tell.

Intel said that more than 40 percent of the servers currently deployed and chugging away in datacenters around the country are powered by single-core chips that are four or more years old. That’s a lot of old, inefficient 32-bit servers that run at single-digit utilization rates.

Intel had a similar situation of its own. It had 147 datacenters, many of them running single-core processors. In the last few years, even before the economy went into the drink, CEO Paul Otellini and Andy Bryant, who is pretty much a de facto chief operating officer although his title is chief administrative officer*, have been on an efficiency hunt trying to cut costs wherever possible. So those servers had to go.

Diane Bryant, the company’s CIO, said that in the past year, Intel has been able to cut its datacenters from 147 to 70, consolidate single-core servers to Nehalem-based by a factor of 10 to one, and in the end, save Intel $250 million over the course of eight years. Just this year alone, thanks to reduced power and cooling and maintenance costs, Intel will save $19 million.

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