Intel Unveils Open Data Center Alliance For Cloud Solutions

As part of its mission to bring more IT resources to the cloud, Intel on Wednesday introduced the Open Data Center Alliance, a broad partnership of companies in various industries establishing future hardware and software requirements for cloud solutions.

At an event held in downtown San Francisco, Intel emphasized IT efficiency, in particular the reduction of cost of operations, as well as energy efficiency. Intel will play an advisory role within the alliance, whose members are focused on end user companies as opposed to technology providers.

"Intel is committed to this vision beginning now," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group.

Intel's Xeon processor is expected to serve as a basis for cloud computing, with new built-in features such as Intel Virtualization Technology and Intel Trusted Execution Technology, the company said in a statement.

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Skaugen outlined three key areas of Intel's "Cloud 2015" strategy: "federation," which allows data-sharing in external and internal clouds across vertical companies, retailers, and service providers; "automation," which involves moving workloads between and within data centers; and "client-aware" clouds that take client infrastructure and the user experience into account.

NEXT: Intel's Role In The Industry

With Intel's acquisition of McAfee, "Security is going to be a big deal for us as well," Skaugen said. "But people don't buy chips, they buy solutions."

Intel has a multi-decade history of driving standards, including I/O standards, Centrino technology, and the transformation of the server industry as a result of the introduction of Pentium Pro in 1995, Skaugen said. Skaugen said Intel's goal in cloud computing is to promote open, interoperable standards and noted that Intel has remained "vendor agnostic" because the company does not sell anything direct.

Intel's desire to take a leadership role with its partners led to its creation of the Open Data Center Alliance -- which includes 70 companies that all have the goal of moving their resources to the cloud. Though Intel is not a voting member in the alliance, members of the steering committee at the event said technical coordination is fundamental to cloud computing.

NEXT: The Expansion of Cloud Computing

"Cloud is absolutely not a fad," said Curt Aubley, vice president of NexGen Cyber Security & Innovation, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions." Various industries are finding common IT challenges and seeking unique innovations, driving agility and affordability. We want interoperability, rather than having different silos that lock you in over time "

Aubley said compliance with requirements established by the Open Data Center Alliance will address security challenges, reducing security threats by 80 percent while allowing partners to pay only for the resources they use.

Intel also announced the expansion of its Intel Cloud Builders program, which is aimed at building solutions based on requirements determined by the Open Data Center Alliance. The program incorporates a total of twenty reference architectures and membership from technology vendors including Dell, IBM, EMC, Cisco, and Microsoft.

When asked during a Q&A after the presentation why big-name cloud computing companies like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo have yet to join the Open Data Center Alliance, Saugen said the alliance was mainly focused on private clouds, while affirming that public cloud solutions providers have also been invited to participate.

"They are very welcome to join," Saugen said. "Stay tuned. You'll hear some other big names. "