IT@Intel: Transforming Industrial Manufacturing with Software-Defined Networking

December 7th, 2022 |
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IT Best Practices: Intel IT delivers improved automation, reliability, scalability, security and resource efficiency to Intel’s factory floor by deploying Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) technology.

Over the last few years, Intel IT has transformed Intel’s factory data centers using software-defined networking (SDN), leaf/spine topologies and other modernizations. This success has inspired us to apply the same constructs to the factory floor network, which connects and runs the semiconductor tools that produce Intel’s silicon products.

Deploying Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) switches powered by the Intel Xeon D-1500 and D-1600 processor families has helped enable us to solve some of the technical challenges associated with the classic factory floor network. ACI and SDN bring a wide range of quantifiable benefits, including the following:

• Completed new factory network builds with 85% less headcount and weeks faster through the use of automated scripts.
• Increased efficiency through the use of open-source and vendor-created automation playbooks.
• Implemented a resilient zero-downtime architecture.
• 100x times more efficient on-switch memory utilization for security implementation, compared to the classic network.
• Factory reliability, security, long life and high performance enhanced by Intel Xeon systems on a chip (SoCs).

Traditionally, ACI is used primarily in data centers. We have proven that ACI can meet factory floor requirements and is now used as the plan of record (PoR) for all new Intel factories. We are gradually migrating existing factories to the new network design and anticipate broadening our use of automation through ACI, further enhancing Intel factory efficiency and reliability. We hope that the rigorous testing and validation process that we have established can help other manufacturers transform their own factories using Cisco ACI.

For more information on Intel IT Best Practices, please visit

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Posted in: data centers, Intel, Intel IT, IT White Papers, IT@Intel