Google Cloud and Intel launched the Intel Software Center of Excellence. The free service helps customers optimize workloads for Intel Xeon Scalable-based virtual machines in Google Cloud environments.

The Intel Software Center of Excellence was launched as a pilot in 2021. Meanwhile, the free service is available to Google Cloud customers that use or want to use Intel Xeon Scalable-based virtual machines.

By signing up for the program, companies give Google and Intel permission to optimize their workloads for Intel Xeon Scalable processors. As a result, workloads run more efficiently, reducing the cost of virtual machines compared to unoptimized workloads.

The program is free. Google and Intel designed the service for organizations with applications like video encoding, web transactions, analytics and AI inference.

Downside

Intel Xeon Scalable processors support AVX-512 vector instructions and Deep Learning Boost. The combination makes the processors suitable for AI workloads. The speeds are impressive, but according to TechRadar, organizations need specialist developers to manage the necessary software.

Not every company has room for additional labour costs or time investments. Intel and Google’s free service offloads some of the work, but the management costs of virtual machines with Intel Xeon Scalable processors remain relatively high.

The service is aimed at organizations with the developers and expertise required to support Intel Xeon Scalable processors long-term. Organizations with limited budgets do well to carefully examine whether the upgrade is really necessary.

At this time, Intel is one of the few options for companies looking for optimized processors for AI workloads. This fall, AMD is extending the offering by launching a range of Epyc server processors with support for AVX-512.

Tip: Intel announces 13th Gen Core Raptor Lake