Diane Bryant, the Head of Intel’s data center business explained that the list was composed based on its consumers’ buying power. The 7 giant tech companies in the list are those with impressive buying power. They will have early access to chips that no other customers have chance to try. But more important, their buying habits can affect other corporations’ thoughts on buying, from chips to servers.
The ’Super 7’ includes Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. These are all big names in technology areas, so big that they build their own equipment to better fit their organizations and to save money on computing needs. They are also biggest customers of Intel and participants in Intel’s Early Shift Program. Joining the program, they get access to Intel’s chips about 6 months before Intel’s official release of the products to the mass market.
Bryant clarify that this is not a beta program. What ‘Super 7’ receive are final products. The early access empowers those giants to speed up their web searchers, transactions and page loads. It also supports their new growth and replacement of existing servers which are also faster than that of others.
Super 7’s members replace their servers every three years while that period of other customers is usually a four-to-five-year period. This would a good fortune for traditional server companies if most of them did not design and make their own servers. They will buy from manufacturers like Quanta or Dell who can supply them with customized design hardware; then they build and develop the machines themselves.
Businesses like Uber, Pinterest, JD.com, Airbnb and others are going to follow the model to replace their servers every three years and to customize the hardware they buy. Many businesses have built their own clouds for new lines of business, especially for services that involve connected devices. “When they start buying over 10,000 servers a year, they start optimizing their hardware and they no longer think about buying general purpose servers. They start thinking about running their own data centers and buying specialized hardware to fit their unique workloads.”, Bryant explained.
Bryant thinks that the majority of market share will soon be for cloud-based software or services owned by the companies that own mentioned software and services. When this becomes fundamental part of the business, they will want to bring it ‘home’ rather than leave it to providers like Microsoft or Amazon Web Services. But to do so, cloud software needs to be a lot simpler to use. When the moment comes, hardware companies will have a prime time. And of course, Intel will happily enjoy that time.
Last year, data center business brought $ 14.4 billion to Intel’s revenue. This year it expects to grow by 15 percent at the compound annual rate in this areas. The overall growth rate of the data center business can be between 9 percent and 12 percent.