Amid the ongoing Meltdown fiasco [soylentnews.org], Intel has only one way to go in the data center [fortune.com]... down. Intel may be forced to offer discounts or rebates to prevent customers from eventually moving to AMD x86 chips (such as Epyc [wikipedia.org]) or even ARM chips:
Intel chips back 98% of data center operations, according to industry consultancy IDC. [...] Microsoft said on Tuesday [fortune.com] the patches necessary to secure the threats could have a significant performance impact on servers.
[...] For Gleb Budman's company, San Mateo-based online storage firm Backblaze, building with ARM chips would not be difficult. "If ARM provides enough computing power at lower cost or lower power than x86, it would be a strong incentive for us to switch," said Budman. "If the fix for x86 results in a dramatically decreased level of performance, that might increasingly push in favor of switching to ARM."
Infinitely Virtual, a Los Angeles-based cloud computing vendor, is counting on Intel to replace equipment or offer a rebate to make up for the loss in computing power, Chief Executive Adam Stern said in an interview. "If Intel doesn't step up and do something to make this right then we're going to have to punish them in the marketplace by not purchasing their products," said Stern, whose company relies exclusively on Intel processors.
[...] Both Qualcomm and Cavium are developing ARM chips aimed at data centers. Cavium said it aimed to rival the performance of Intel chips for applications like databases and the content-delivery networks that help speed things like how fast online videos load.