Intel Inside might be the most successful ingredient marketing campaign ever. Launched in 1991, Intel Inside continues to resonate with businesses and consumers today. Many companies have tried, and failed, to leverage the Intel Inside campaign idea for their own products or services.
The amazingly successful Intel Inside brand, though, is moving over to make room for a new sibling—Intel Select Solutions. While the name is new, what Intel Select Solutions represent is not new. It’s simply an official name applied to the work Intel has done with other technology leaders for years.
Intel chips, or processors, are an ingredient placed in another company’s product (or recipe). For example, Intel Xeon processors in Lenovo servers where the chip is part of the total package. Intel regularly works with technology companies to ensure the Intel ingredients work in the overall “recipe” and that the recipe delivers the intended performance for the workload as well as the network, compute, and storage components. Intel Select Solutions give the collaboration an official name. The recognition of that work with the Intel Select Solutions program launched on July 11, 2017, with the release of Intel Xeon Scalable processors—all Intel Select Solutions use Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
The Making of Intel Select Solutions
Like Intel Inside, Intel Select Solutions are denoted by a logo. Behind that logo, though, a significant history exists. Intel Select Solutions start with Intel and end with compute, storage, and network configurations for a specific workload that customers can purchase from their data center and other solution providers. Each solution targets a specific workload. For example, running online transactions in Microsoft SQL Server 2016 software or using VMware vSAN.
Each Intel Select Solution has two configuration options, “Base” and “Plus.” The Base configuration is optimized to deliver fundamental performance, whereas the Plus configuration is intended to deliver maximum performance for the most-demanding workloads. The two configurations help ensure scalability across different workload demands, users, and solution providers. Solution providers can offer one or both configurations to their own customers.
To create these solutions, Intel works with ISVs and OEMs to:
- Define the Base and Plus configurations for the hardware, operating system, firmware, and adjacent Intel technologies for a given workload
- Establish reference benchmark-performance thresholds for each configuration
- Perform initial stress testing on both the Base and Plus configurations
- Intel and the ISVs and/or OEMs tune each of the configurations, which includes making adjustments to the chosen hardware components, software, BIOS, drivers, driver version control, and firmware components.
- Test the configurations to meet the reference benchmark-performance goals for the Base and Plus configurations
- Offer configurations that are tuned to deliver optimum performance for solution providers
Once the optimized Base and Plus configurations are tested, Intel makes the configurations known to solution providers. For a solution provider to then sell a solution as an Intel Select Solution, the solution provider must:
- Follow the software and hardware stack requirements outlined by Intel and coordinating ISVs/OEMs in the Intel Select Solution Base and Plus configurations
- Replicate or exceed the reference benchmark-performance thresholds
- Publish a reference architecture for its solution(s)
- Optionally, the solution provider can add its own differentiated capabilities
What’s in It for Customers?
Unlike Intel Inside, Intel Select Solutions are not targeted at consumers and businesses—they strictly focus on businesses. The business benefits of Intel Select Solutions are significant. Businesses typically run under strict service-level agreements (SLAs) and need to know that their workloads will work as planned and remain reliable. Intel Select Solutions offer assurance that the workload will work as expected, if not better, while saving the individual business from investing the time and resources that might be required to evaluate, select, and purchase the necessary hardware components to gain that assurance themselves. As a result, businesses can deploy an Intel Select Solution faster than a “home-grown” or other solution. Just like Intel Inside logo “promises” users a high-performance, reliable processor inside their computers, the Intel Select logo “promises” that the compute, network, and storage infrastructure running a workload are ideally tuned—and tested—to deliver the performance a business requires, or better.
What Will the Future of Intel Select Solutions Hold?
Only time will tell if the Intel Select Solutions program will achieve recognition comparable to the Intel Inside brand. Because it’s a business-to-business and not a business-to-consumer brand, it won’t likely achieve the notoriety of the Intel Inside brand, but it will likely have a significant impact on the business world.
We’ll be watching.
Until then, keep your eyes on Intel Select Solutions on the Intel website at www.intel.com/selectsolutions. And follow us and our growing communities on the Prowess Consulting Thought Lab blog, LinkedIn, and Twitter.