Intel has seen a large expansion of the cloud market (TAM) and along with it they have reported a significant increase in the need for custom SKUs. In fact, at last year innovation summit, the company reported that over 50% of their cloud SKUs are custom to customers, this is up from just 18% in 2013. For Intel, Custom SKUs mean models that are tailored (binned) to a customer’s exact workload needs. That can be a modification to the TDP limit in order to reach extremely low or high frequencies, modifications to the turbo or base frequencies. An example of a Skylake-based custom SKU is the Xeon Platinum 8124 which is designed specifically for Amazon AWS and has a fixed turbo frequency for any number of active cores.
With Cascade Lake, Intel is doubling down on specialized SKUs. Many SKUs that were sought after by customers are now becoming part of Intel’s standard Xeon lineup. New SKUs can be grouped into the following categories:
- Speed Select Technology SKUs
- Specialized for network function virtualization
- Specialized for networking and IoT (NEBS Friendly)
- Specialized Search Application
- Extended Memory
Speed Select Technology (SST)
Speed Select Technology is a new feature found on SST-enabled SKUs that allows for finer per-core power/performance configuration. SST-enabled SKUs come with additional controls that allow system administrators to change the turbo and base frequencies of certain cores. Those cores (called prioritized cores) can then have certain applications with higher priority affinitized to them. Since the power budget of the processor is fixed, with less prioritized cores, it’s possible to increase the base or turbo frequency. This can be furthered improved by reducing the frequencies of lower-priority cores (below their pre-defined base frequencies). In other words, SST allows for higher performance for priority workloads through the sacrifice of lower-priority workloads.
There are three new SST-enabled SKUs. Processor models with SST are suffixed with a ‘Y’.
|Cascade Lake With SST|
|Platinum 8260Y||24 / 48||2.4 GHz||3.9 GHz||35.75 MiB||165 W|
|Gold 6240Y||18 / 36||2.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||24.75 MiB||150 W|
|Silver 4214Y||12 / 24||2.2 GHz||3.2 GHz||16.5 MiB||85 W|
VM Density Value Specialized SKUs
VM density value optimized are SKUs that have been optimized to provide higher ROI for customers that benefit more from the higher thread count.
There are two new VM density SKUs. Those models are suffixed with a ‘V’.
|Cascade Lake VM Density SKUs|
|Gold 6262V||24 / 48||1.9 GHz||3.6 GHz||33 MiB||135 W|
|Gold 6222V||20 / 40||1.8 GHz||3.6 GHz||27.5 MiB||115 W|
Network Function Virtualization (NFV) SKUs
NFV models are optimized for dynamic density VMs with additional headroom for higher subscribe capacity. NFV SKUs also feature speed select profiles with configurable priority based on the kind of workloads that are running.
There are three new NFV SKUs. Those models are suffixed with a ‘N’.
|Cascade Lake NFV SKUs|
|Gold 6252N||24 / 48||2.3 GHz||3.6 GHz||35.75 MiB||150 W|
|Gold 6230N||20 / 40||2.3 GHz||3.5 GHz||27.5 MiB||125 W|
|Gold 5218N||16 / 32||2.3 GHz||3.9 GHz||22 MiB||105 W|
Search Application Value specialized
The search-optimized SKU is mainly designed for cloud search applications. Those models are designed such that they have predictable performance and latencies.
There is one new search-optimized SKUs. Those models are suffixed with an ‘S’.
|Cascade Lake Search-optimized SKUs|
|Gold 5220S||18 / 36||2.7 GHz||3.9 GHz||24.75 MiB||125 W|
Specialized for networking and IoT (NEBS Friendly)
Models that are suffixed with “T” have extended lifetime (10 year use) guarantees and NEBS-friendly packing specification.
There are four new NEBS-friendly SKUs.
|Cascade Lake NEBS-friendly SKUs|
|Gold 6238T||22 / 44||1.9 GHz||3.7 GHz||30.25 MiB||125 W|
|Gold 6230T||20 / 40||2.1 GHz||3.9 GHz||27.5 MiB||125 W|
|Gold 5220T||18 / 36||2.2 GHz||3.9 GHz||24.75 MiB||105 W|
|Silver 4209T||8 / 16||2.2 GHz||3.2 GHz||11 MiB||70 W|
Beyond the normal supported memory, Intel also offers fourteen additional SKUs with extended memory support. Xeon Scalable models with the ‘M’ suffix offer medium DDR memory tier support with up to 2 TiB of memory per socket. Above those SKUs are ‘L’-suffixed SKUs which offer large memory support of up to 4.5 TiB of memory per socket.
|Extended Memory Cascade Lake SKUs|
|Platinum 8280L||28 / 56||2.7 GHz||4.0 GHz||38.5 MiB||205 W|
|Platinum 8280M||28 / 56||2.7 GHz||4.0 GHz||38.5 MiB||205 W|
|Platinum 8276L||28 / 56||2.2 GHz||4.0 GHz||38.5 MiB||165 W|
|Platinum 8276M||28 / 56||2.2 GHz||4.0 GHz||38.5 MiB||165 W|
|Platinum 8260L||24 / 48||2.4 GHz||3.9 GHz||35.7 MiB||165 W|
|Platinum 8260M||24 / 48||2.4 GHz||3.9 GHz||35.7 MiB||165 W|
|Platinum 8253L||16 / 32||2.2 GHz||3.0 GHz||35.7 MiB||165 W|
|Platinum 8253M||16 / 32||2.2 GHz||3.0 GHz||35.7 MiB||165 W|
|Gold 6240L||18 / 36||2.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||24.75 MiB||150 W|
|Gold 6240M||18 / 36||2.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||24.75 MiB||150 W|
|Gold 6238L||22 / 44||2.1 GHz||3.7 GHz||30.25 MiB||140 W|
|Gold 6238M||22 / 44||2.1 GHz||3.7 GHz||30.25 MiB||140 W|
|Gold 5215L||10 / 20||2.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||16.5 MiB||85 W|
|Gold 5215M||10 / 20||2.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||16.5 MiB||85 W|