Take Advantage of Built-in Silicon to Protect Your Data Center Operations


Data center security has never been more important. The damage caused by security breaches with lost data, reparation fee payouts, privacy noncompliance penalties, and confidentiality leakages can critically harm a business. Protecting your data center—meaning the servers, their operations, their storage, and the data and applications hosted within them—requires a multilayered approach for comprehensive system integrity. Not only do you need policies, procedures, and processes to defend against cyberattacks, but you also need built-in technologies at the silicon level.

Data Is Your Business’s Lifeblood

Data is the lifeblood of business today. It fuels innovation, insights, and intelligence and is present at every layer of operations, from firmware to BIOS to applications. Availability of data at the speed of need is essential to organizational success; accelerating data movement supports rapid decision-making based on appropriate and timely business intelligence.

However, business intelligence is only as good as the data it references. It is vital to ensure data remains clean, uncorrupted, and accessible and that all systems remain capable. Hardware-based security features built into the silicon level deliver systemic protection.

This is where Intel® processors come into play. They have the most built-in accelerators of any processor currently available. As a result, they deliver the capabilities to support your data center infrastructure and the most-demanding applications—from cloud and in-memory analytics to high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI). The Intel® Xeon® Scalable platform is highly versatile and provides a foundation for data center agility and scalability with expansive capabilities and convergence across compute, storage, memory, network, and security.

Faster, Easier, and More Secure Operations

While known for high performance and accelerated compute, Intel Xeon processors also deliver breakthrough cryptographic performance thanks to algorithmic and software innovations. Security technologies built into Intel Xeon Scalable processors make data available for analysis even if it’s sensitive, confidential, or regulated.

Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer built-in Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX), which supports confidential computing for data in use by enabling enclaves of protected data. With a dual-socket Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based server, up to 1 TB of data can be processed inside Intel SGX enclaves. This creates opportunities for analytics and applications requiring large data sets. When the training or processing is complete, any private information can be deleted or re-encrypted before leaving the enclave.

3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors

In the future, Intel SGX will be joined by Intel® Trust Domain Extensions (Intel® TDX), a new tool that offers confidentiality at the virtual machine (VM) level. Within an Intel TDX confidential VM, the guest OS and all the VM applications are isolated from the cloud host, hypervisor, and other VMs on the platform. With Intel TDX, the trust boundary will be larger than the application-level isolation of Intel SGX, while confidential VMs will be easier to deploy and manage at scale than application enclaves. The combination of Intel SGX and Intel TDX as the Intel® portfolio of confidential computing technologies will enable businesses to choose their optimal security level to meet both business needs and regulatory requirements.

Federated Learning with Protected Data

When training neural networks, sharing data between entities can greatly increase accuracy and speed of training processes. Sharing confidential data between trusted multiparty compute models for such use cases as federated learning is possible with Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Employing Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Intel SGX enclaves allows multiple parties to pool sensitive data and share the benefits of a common analysis without exposing their private data to the other parties. And remote attestation allows the owner of the data to verify that their enclave is genuine, up to date, and running only the software they expect.

Intel® security technologies are helping businesses take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of the cloud while reducing the risk of exposing sensitive data. This combination of technologies—Intel Xeon processors and Intel SGX—also enables compliance with privacy regulations and data availability and supports isolating sensitive data from your cloud providers’ software, administrators, and other tenants.

Futureproof Built-in Security

Another significant benefit of Intel Xeon processors is that they can work with your existing data center infrastructure. Intel Xeon processors are also futureproofed. You’ll be able to upgrade to future Intel® technology releases, such as Sapphire Rapids, easily and seamlessly. By using Intel Xeon Scalable processors, you enable your data center operations to run in a trusted environment for more reliable, scalable, workload-optimized performance.

Episode 112: Hybrid Cloud Strategies for the Modern Data Center

For more on protecting the modern data center, listen to the latest Intel and Connection podcast to explore best practices of a hybrid cloud strategy.

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