Intel Advises New End User Cloud Alliance, Details Strategic Vision

Open Data Center Alliance sports 70 businesses generating $50 billion in yearly IT spending, focuses on setting hardware and software standards for open and interoperable cloud and data center solutions. Chip maker details its cloud strategy, plans to build new cloud capabilities into Xeon processors.

October 29, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Intel Corp. said it will advise a new global coalition of some 70 business collectively generating about $50 billion in annual IT spending to define hardware and software necessary to prompt more open and interoperable cloud and data center solutions.

The chip maker said that its view of data center transformation, which it is calling Cloud 2015, maps closely with the goals of the Open Data Center Alliance, whose agenda is being led by 10 prominent businesses, including BMW, China Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International Inc., National Australia Bank, Shell Global Solutions Inc., Terremark and UBS.

An additional 60 companies---many of which are based in Europe and Asia—signed on at the Alliance’s inception. The members all have in common either an investment in cloud computing or ongoing cloud projects.

At this point, Intel is not a member of the Alliance, whose membership is focused on end users and not technology providers. Of note, cloud services providers such as Amazon Web Services LLC and Google Inc., despite their positions in the forefront of the emerging segment, currently are not Alliance members.

Mario Müller, BMW vice president, IT Infrastructure, an Alliance steering committee member, said, in a blog entry, that the group is creating a guidebook to help it define cloud solutions that suit its requirements.

“As CIOs and data center managers we want all of the things that the next-generation IT infrastructure promises, yet there are significant challenges in evolving to internal and external clouds, including security, compliance, need for greater levels of efficiency, and simplification of IT infrastructure manageability,” Müller wrote.

“The Open Data Center Alliance members have come together to find answers to these challenges, and are creating a vendor-agnostic Usage Model Roadmap to guide us as we define open, interoperable, standards-based solutions to provide our businesses with greater efficiency, reduced costs, less complexity, increased flexibility, more choice and faster time to market,” he wrote.

Intel to advise Alliance, promote open, interoperable cloud solutions

Intel said that its role will be to advise the Alliance, leveraging its relationships with hardware and software manufacturers to prompt innovation that will lead to a more open, interoperable and secure cloud.

Accordingly, the chip maker said that it has expanded its Cloud Builders program, which includes providers Cisco Systems Inc., Dell Inc., EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp., NetApp Inc., VMware Inc. and others, to build solutions aligned with the Alliance’s requirements.

The Cloud Builders program, crafted to provide verified steps for cloud building and guidelines for deploying, maintaining and optimizing a cloud infrastructure, now has 20 reference architectures with more on the way, Intel said.

“The industry has an opportunity to accelerate the potential of cloud computing, delivering even better industry economics through this transformation,” said Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager, Data Center Group.

“With the Open Data Center Alliance we now have the world’s top businesses focused and actively engaged with Intel and the high-tech industry, accelerating solutions to the cloud’s key challenges,” he said.

Skaugen said that Intel’s Cloud 2015 view homes in on three key elements--a federated cloud that allows data sharing across internal and external clouds; an automated network that automatically allows secure movement of applications and resources to improve data center efficiency; and, client-aware clouds, which take into account the user’s and the device’s features.

In support of its cloud view, Intel said that it intends to build additional capabilities into its Xeon processors to supplement features such as its Virtualization Technology and Trusted Execution Technology.

TAGS: cloud computing,virtualization,Intel,data center

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