Intel Acquires Granulate

The Six Five team dives into Intel acquiring Granulate.

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Patrick Moorhead: Let’s go to the next topic. And Intel is acquiring a company called Granulate. So, Intel is the unit share and market share leader for servers. I think their market share is around 85% or 80% today. And AMD has the lion’s share of the rest. Then you have folks like IBM Power and IBM Z and of course, Arm in there as well. So, one of the biggest challenges inside of a data center is efficiency. You don’t want to burn too much wattage and all things equal, ceteris paribus, the more power you put into the system, the more performance that you’re going to get.

There have been a lot of ways that CPUs can moderate the amount of power they draw. Some of these are inside of the CPU. It goes all the way back to Intel SpeedStep 20 years ago, to be able to bring voltage in frequency up and down, depending on what you’re doing. But Granulate, sometimes you need additional software to make that happen. So, what Granulate does, is it fine-grain, when it comes to things like microservices that are a lot harder to modulate with power, it allows you to modulate performance and power. Does not require any developer intervention on the operating system or on the application. So, if your application isn’t very good at working directly with the new breed of CPU, or the operating system isn’t, you can use Granulate to do that.

My expectation is that Granulate gets sucked into some lower level firmware or some type of driver that makes it even so auto-magic that even the end enterprise doesn’t have to do anything. I did get a tweet from Dylan Martin who said, “Hey, I have a leaked memo from Intel that says that they’re going to be selling this.” By the way, those can both be true. You can be selling it today, but in the future, it could get sucked into the firmware to make it even easier and enterprises wouldn’t have to load any software.

Daniel Newman: Well, doesn’t that basically address what Intel’s trying to address by effectively making this acquisition moving up, or I guess moving closer to the silicone layer where this optimization automation takes place? I mean, there’s been software for a long time that companies buy and invest in to try to opt. As I said, a lot of it happens like in public law, for instance, it’s in the control plane, you’re trying to optimize workloads, you’re trying to optimize software to make the compute work as efficiently and effectively as possible. You want to boost performance of every core. So, the idea of being able to do this more, quote unquote, what did you say, auto-magically? That really is what this is all about and Intel solving a problem that tends to go out the stack.

So, we love to say, you can’t run software on air. So, silicone is the one common ingredient, no matter what workload you’re running, you’re running it on something. So as companies’ sprawl of software, as they need to optimize more and more, every workload in their data center, try to get maximize every core, Intel has the opportunity to be a partner to these companies in terms of streamlining and automating that. So, it’s still fairly high level to me, in terms of how the company’s going to monetize this, how they’re going to make it inclusive, how they’re going to … but I do think software optimization is got to be part of the story right now. So, this acquisition gives Intel the opportunity to expand their story and help customers reduce CPU utilization and app latency, which is a big thing that every company’s doing. They’re either buying software to monitor it and in this case, they’re actually looking at ways to implement it where the customer doesn’t have to think about it, just put it in play.

Patrick Moorhead: See, it’s auto-magic, baby.

Daniel Newman: It’s auto-magic, like it should be.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, so it’s funny, in the entire press release, it didn’t say if it was using AI or machine learning, or some sort of deep learning, but essentially it learns your applications. So, pretty cool stuff.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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