The year 2015 is going to be a watershed year for IT in many ways. Analysts predict that by then we will have one billion more Internet users, 15 billion connected devices and one zetabyte of Internet traffic. As Internet and device expansion drives new requirements for data centres, it also represents an opportunity to save $25 billion in annual ‘excess’ IT spend by 2015 by having a smarter infrastructure in place. In this context, Intel presented its cloud vision for 2015 at a recently held event in Belgium.
Intel’s cloud vision is built around three pillars- federated, automated and client-aware. Federated means communications, data and services can move easily within and across cloud computing infrastructures. Intel’s cloud vision calls for a level of federation that enables the movement of workloads and data from one service provider to another. Automated means that cloud computing services and resources can be specified, located and securely provisioned with very little or zero human interaction. Finally, client-aware means users can optimise services based on service capability.
“Right now, the biggest concern related to cloud computing is security. It is not just about putting your confidential data but also how do you change the operation model and yet maintain the level of compliance. You have to look at what kind of leverage are IT organisations going to get by more consolidation. Though virtual servers increased efficiency, it didn’t reduce operational expenses,” said Dylan Larson, Director of Server Platform Marketing, Intel.
Intel says it is driving the vision into action by continuing to invest in platform capabilities to improve efficiency, to drive scale and deliver on the promise of automation and federation. A big area of focus is on Cloud Builders initiative, which will utilise proven reference solutions to ease cloud deployments. This broad ecosystem engagement is aimed at driving cloud solution delivery, with a technical repository of reference architectures, educational tools, and solution information. Intel Cloud Builders brings together systems and software solutions vendors to deploy, maintain and optimise a cloud infrastructure based on Intel architecture. Currently, Intel has 33 reference architectures available while 11 usage models from the members of the initiative were demonstrated at the event. “These are 33 documented solutions that have been tasted in labs with substantial details right down to the configuration script. These are built on Intel technology to accelerate cloud architectures for IT and service providers. We are not just talking to technology leadership audience but also to consumers of technology with our open data centre initiative,” said Larson.
The Intel open data centre initiative is the company’s comprehensive engagement with ecosystem partners and end customers to help speed the delivery of technology that enables more secure, efficient, and simplified cloud data centres that preserve IT flexibility. Intel is also an advisor to the Open Data Center Alliance, which is an initiative to drive the industry to open interoperable cloud solutions, and currently has 280 members. The Alliance will define a roadmap of the highest priority usage models for cloud and next-gen data centres and lay out the requirements to address with multi-vendor, interoperable solutions that embrace standards. “Intel responds to these usage models and others that we identify though our end-user engagements to deliver products and technologies that meet the requirements of the usage models. Open data centre alliance has recently delivered the first user driven requirements with the publication of eight new usage models,” said Larson.
Intel says is cloud is still a work in progress, and the biggest focus is on getting to an operational model. Larson said Intel is investing heavily to evolve the system architecture to optimise the cloud by pioneering the concept micro-servers for high density environments and policy based power management, which provides real time server power monitoring.