September 15, 2011
I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed. I know Intel is a hardware company first and foremost, but I was hoping the first two days of Intel Developer Forum 2011 would see at least some token lip service played to the chip giant’s rising cloud leadership efforts. But the focus has been squarely on consumer hardware efforts including the Ultrabook and the Google Android operating system. Regardless, I had the chance to sit down with some Intel cloud leaders and get an update.
The overall impression I got from my conversations with VP of Intel Architecture Group Boyd Davis, Intel Director of Cloud Computing Marketing Raejeanne Skillern and Intel Director of Cloud Software Strategy Billy Cox is that the company is really continuing on the same path it set for itself at the Intel Day in the Cloud event six months ago.
In other words, Intel is continuing its strategy of advising service providers and enterprises by way of its Cloud Builders program, which provides reference architectures and best practices for enterprises to follow. And Cox said Intel is definitely seeing cloud adoption increase thanks to the program.
As Davis pointed out, Intel has a significant amount of clout in the IT world, and if it exerts its influence, it can rally developers and provider to a more open, secure cloud — in fact, that’s why Intel’s mentoring the Open Data Center Alliance, and why it’s such a huge proponent of its just-announced alliance with the Open Compute Project.
“Nothing we’re proposing isn’t inevitable,” Davis said.
Moreover, Cox led a guided tour of Intel’s cloud presence on the exhibition floor. While Intel partner Citrix was there to demonstrate a secure VM migration solution, the real standout was the demo of Intel’s new contributions to the OpenStack project.
Basically, Intel has started on the road toward providing the open source cloud platform with better power reporting and policy management functions, with an eye toward getting OpenStack where it needs to go to reach broader enterprise usage. Another major component of that is a new GUI for OpenStack, which Cox regretted to report is saddled with the clunky name “Open Source Private Cloud.”
Both Skillern and Cox had nothing but praise for OpenStack’s approach and progress, with Cox going so far as to say he sees it standing as the major open source alternative to platforms provided by VMware and Microsoft. In short, Cox said it’s rapidly maturing, and Intel plans to keep contributing going forward.
Maybe Intel’s not publicly focusing on its cloud strategy right now. But I’m definitely intrigued by how much thought and effort is going into it across Intel’s offices. Keep watching TalkinCloud for updates.
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