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What is x86 Architecture?

An x86 server is a computer that uses an x86 central processing unit (CPU) architecture. The x86 architecture, developed by Intel Corporation, defines how processors handle and execute directions passed from operating systems and software programs. Computer processors are based on the x86 architecture, an instruction set architecture (ISA). 

Background:

In the early days of computing, IBM created the IBM System/360 mainframe. This system was designed with a modular architecture that allowed different parts of the system to be replaced as technology changed without affecting the rest of the system. 

Decades later, Intel developed the x86 architecture based on the System/360. Today, x86 servers are some of the most popular servers on the market, thanks to their combination of performance and flexibility.

What is x86:

In computing, x86 refers to the family of microprocessors based on Intel's 8086 and 8088 processors. An x86 server is a computer that uses an x86 central processing unit (CPU) architecture. It may also use an x86-64 CPU, which is backward compatible with x86 CPUs.  

An x86 architecture processor is a type of microprocessor that is compatible with the x86 instruction set. It refers to the collection of instructions that x86-compatible microprocessors can execute and that are used to control the operations of an x86 microprocessor. From supercomputers to desktops, servers, and laptops, x86 microprocessors can run on almost any type of computer.

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The x86 instruction set architecture is today's most popular instruction set architecture, used by enterprise servers. It has a long history of development and refinement and continues to be improved with each new generation of processors. The x86 instruction set is well-suited for modern server virtualization deployments, providing many benefits over other architectures.

Uses and benefits:

The x86 server architecture has many benefits over traditional servers, including its low cost and ability to be used in various settings. Network infrastructures, data centers, and cloud computing all use servers with x86 architecture. For a long time, this technology has been used for various purposes, including serving web pages, hosting databases, and running critical applications.

There are many benefits to using x86 processors. 

  • One of the most important benefits is that x86 processors are compatible with a wide range of software. This means that businesses can run legacy applications on x86 processors without having to worry about compatibility issues. 
  • Additionally, x86 processors can handle more tasks simultaneously than alternative processors, making them ideal for businesses with heavy workloads. 
  • The x86 instruction set also offers excellent compatibility with operating systems and applications. This ensures that servers running x86 processors can run any operating system or application without issue, making them an ideal choice for mixed environments.
  • Another benefit of x86 processors is that they are energy efficient, saving businesses money on their energy bills. Finally, x86 processors are secure and reliable, making them a good choice for companies that must protect their data.

Server Virtualization

Server virtualization is a technology that allows multiple virtual servers to run on a single physical server. x86 benefits include increased performance, better resource utilization, and improved security.

  • x86 processors offer exceptional performance and features for virtualization deployments. 
  • They include support for hardware-assisted virtualization, which provides enhanced performance and efficiency for virtual machines.
  • x86 processors also include several other features that improve server performance, such as Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology.

Security

x86 servers are more secure than traditional servers because they are harder to hack. They are also more efficient and use less power, which makes them a good choice for data centers.

  • x86 processors also offer better security than other architectures. 
  • They include features such as Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) that make it harder for attackers to penetrate the system. 
  • These features make x86 processors an ideal choice for critical applications and systems.

x86 architecture Now

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In general, the x86 architecture is a legacy architecture that has been superseded by the IA-32 architecture and the x64 architecture. Today, x86 architecture is used in embedded systems such as network routers, set-top boxes, POS terminals, multimedia players (e.g., MP3 players), and industrial automation devices.

Wrap up

In conclusion, the x86 architecture has been a mainstay in the computing world for over three decades. It has continued to evolve and remains a popular choice for many businesses and individuals. While newer options are available, the x86 architecture is still a viable option for those needing performance and reliability.

Juan Mulford
Juan Mulford
I have been active in IT for over fourteen years now. I am a solutions architect, working with storage, virtualization, and VDI solutions. For the past ten years, I have been living and working in Taiwan.

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