Expert Blog: Vertical CPU Scaling – Innovation in Dedicated Server Deployment

Bojana Dobran
Bojana Dobran, Product Marketing Manager at phoenixNAP.

Author: Bojana Dobran, Product Marketing Manager at phoenixNAP.

Today’s dedicated server has far more capabilities than it did ten years ago. Its continuous transformation is influenced by the growing demand for power, speed, and capacity needed to support demanding workloads. Vertical CPU scaling provides the ability to meet the most demanding needs.

Parallel to the changes in the market demand, the data center industry itself has been undergoing a significant transformation. Hardware technologies have evolved to make it possible to build powerful dedicated server systems at affordable prices and scale resources easily. Besides the performance improvements, today’s servers also include some new capabilities.

Such is the case with phoenixNAP’s FlexServers, which is the world’s first solution that enables vertical CPU scaling with a server reboot. Developed in collaboration with Intel, FlexServer demonstrates the potential of data center innovation.

For more info about FlexServers, visit phoenixNAP’s FlexServers page.

Intel’s Data-Centric Transformation

As one of the companies helping drive data center innovation, Intel introduced some major improvements in data storage and processing technologies in recent years. The launch of Intel Xeon Scalable processors in 2017 was a milestone in the company’s evolution, helping it establish itself is a data-centric company rather than a PC-focused firm.

The launch marked Intel’s “biggest data center advancement in a decade,” setting the stage for further innovations. In 2019, Intel reached a new milestone in its “data-centric” innovation with the release of 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. On the occasion of the launch, Intel CEO Bob Swan said that this is Intel’s “first truly data-centric portfolio product,” meant to inspire and enable innovation in the data center industry.

Indeed, 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors brought about significant improvements in the way how data centers deploy and deliver CPUs. One of the examples is the innovative potential of 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors deployed on FlexServers by phoenixNAP.

Vertically Scalable CPUs

Leveraging a custom implementation of Intel Speed Select technology with 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, FlexServers enable you to modulate CPU configurations simply by requiring a server reboot. No hardware upgrades or data migration is needed to access an entirely new CPU. You can choose from multiple configurations and deploy the one that meets your needs best. This way, FlexServers deliver greater efficiencies in a variety of use cases, including test environments, demanding workloads, and dynamic performance needs.

The key benefit is the ability to optimize server performance according to your current demand. For example, you can activate a more powerful CPU when you need extra capacity to handle peak times or new projects. FlexServers help you ensure continued delivery of exceptional experiences regardless of the workload. At the same time, you are achieving significant cost optimizations as you only pay for the resources you need.

– story continues below the image –





Intel Speed Select Technology

At the core of 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Speed Select technology changes the BIOS setting to enable different configurations on a single CPU. Each reconfiguration increases or decreases the number of CPU cores and frequencies as selected, enabling advanced scalability.

For the data center provider, this option translates into a lowered complexity of server provisioning and increased operational efficiency. At the same time, it ensures optimum performance, greater scalability, and improved cost optimization for end user workloads.

Use Cases

Vertically scalable CPUs are architected to meet the needs of organizations that handle diverse workloads and have varying usage needs. It helps them ensure continued performance to deliver their services and grow their business.

The option to easily switch between different configurations may be particularly useful for individuals or organizations that would like to test their performance when starting a new project or adding new workloads. They can later upgrade or downgrade it based on the need instead of having to configure multiple servers for different workloads.

For example, for workloads that require higher per-core performance, FlexServers can deliver a configuration that has fewer active cores running at a higher operating base frequency. If a user’s demand changes, they can easily reconfigure the CPU to activate more cores or lower the frequency.

The 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors available within FlexServers can support the demanding workloads such as AI, Machine Learning, HPC, gaming, multi-media, video streaming, etc. Combined with powerful hardware and reliable service by phoenixNAP, the platform provides flexibility and dependability no matter the workload.


FlexServers are an example of Intel-driven data center innovation that has the potential to change the entire dedicated servers market. Simplified CPU scaling brings about a new level of flexibility in server provisioning and cost-efficiency, empowering digital transformation, increased productivity, and innovation in modern organizations.

For more info about FlexServers, visit phoenixNAP’s FlexServers page.