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Intel promises 'scores' of deals to underpin enterprise cloud

Let's build out the software defined infrastructure

Intel has decided the cloud isn’t quite built for the needs of enterprises, and has promised to strike “scores” of collaborations and investments to solidify a Software Defined Infrastructure that will redress the balance.

The chip giant reckons that consumer adoption accounts for around 75 per cent of cloud usage, while “enterprise cloud adoption has been particularly stifled by complexity, lack of scalability and gaps in open source enterprise-grade features”.

It reckons its Intel Cloud for All Initiative will plug those gaps, as well as those in the consumer and SMB space. In a statement accompanying the announcement, Jonathan Donaldson, VP and GM, software defined infrastructure group, put SDI at the centre of the plan.

“The key to delivering the efficiency of the cloud to the enterprise is rooted in software defined infrastructure,” he wrote. “This push for more intelligent and programmable infrastructure is something that we’ve been working on at Intel for several years. The ultimate goal of Software Defined Infrastructure is one where compute, storage and network resource pools are dynamically provisioned based on application requirements.”

He added the push will see Intel involved in “scores” of industry collaborations “to ensure SDI stacks have frictionless integration into data centre infrastructure.”

It’s a truism that many companies will happily use the cloud to prototype, but are loathe to really shift corporate workloads and, heaven forbid, corporate data onto it. At the Paris OpenStack summit last year we spoke to engineers and architects who were struggling to convince their higher ups to make the jump, particularly in the more regulated industries.

Intel said the three prongs of its strategy were: to invest in the ecosystems to accelerate SDI solutions; align the industry through open standards, solutions and routes to market to accelerate cloud deployment; and optimised SDI solutions to by taking full advantage of Intel platform capabilities; optimise solutions to deliver high efficient clouds leveraging Intel platforms.

These last two are of course what other than making chips Intel does best – embedding itself in the ecosystem to ensure it becomes the industry standard. It doesn’t always work - witness its mobile phone efforts. On the other hand, how often do you use non-Intel-based client and server devices.

As part of the initiative, Intel will collaborate with Rackspace on enterprise features and an OpenStack Innovation Centre, which will include two 1,000 node clusters. These will be thrown open to the Openstack community sometime in the next months. The two will also deliver “courseware” to “onboard and increase the number of open source developers actively contributing to the success of the community”.

Heavyweight OpenStack skills are at a premium. At last year’s Paris bash the number of invites to booze-ups for engineers was surpassed only by the number of invites to jump ship from their existing employers. ®

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