SAN FRANCISCO—Intel Corp. through its clout behind cloud computing at a press event here Wednesday (Oct. 27), pledging to help drive the creation of standards for cloud networks, including participation in an alliance of global businesses.
Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said it helped create the alliance, known as the Open Data Center Alliance, which features more than 70 global businesses and plans to create a roadmap to drive interoperability, flexibility and industry standards for cloud computing and next generation data centers. Companies involved in the alliance—a diverse group of heavyweights from a wide range of vertical markets including Shell Oil, UBS, Lockheed Martin, BMW and the like—together spend more than $50 billion per year in IT investment.
While Intel helped to create the alliance, Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager of the company's Data Center Group, stressed that Intel is participating as a technical advisor only, not a voting member. The alliance and its leadership are comprised of heavy IT users, more of which are expected to join in coming months.
Skaugen said Intel was "humbled" to be asked to participate, presumably because of the company's history of helping to drive technology standardization through previous experiences such as the WiFi Alliance. Intel was also asked to participate "I think in large part because we don't sell anything direct to the alliance community," Skaugen said.
Skaugen, as well as Open Data Center Alliance officers Marvin Wheeler, chief strategy officer at Terremark Worldwide Inc., and Curt Aubley, CTO of cyber security at Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions, said the trend toward cloud computing is being hampered by a lack of standards that create questions about interoperability and security. According to Skaugen, lingering questions about interoperability and security in cloud computing is delaying some $100 billion in planned IT investment.
Skaugen also outlined Intel's "Cloud 2015" vision and unveiled a company initiative called "Cloud Builders," featuring 20 hardware and software makers who have commit ted resources to spur innovation and make clouds easier to deploy, use and share.
"We fundamentally believe that if we catalyze the industry over the next decade or so, that cloud computing can transform the economics of computing," Skaugen said.
Skaugen, noting the existence of other groups dedicated to creating standards for cloud computing such as the IEEE Cloud Computing Standards Study Group, said the Open Data Center Alliance isn't going to necessarily create new standards, but that it would work to have its concerns incorporated into standards developed by other bodies. Skaugen said there are already "seven or eight working groups out there" struggling to be heard.
"Don't think of us [an organization that is going to] recreate the wheel," Skaugen said. "There are lots of good cloud bodies out there."
I feel till 2015, every cloud provider will define their own SLAs, interfaces, performance parameters and security features.However, for interoperability's sake atleast the networking aspect of it needs to be standardized urgently. And what about the different service delivery models?
Efforts to create standards are always welcome, but often the standards are not completed until the industry has moved on to something else. Cloud computing has unfortunately entered the stage where the phrase is used to describe almost any data center technology so the time left to set standards is shrinking very quickly!
Well, maybe if there are enough working groups providing input to the standards groups they can get it somewhat right. Of course, this usually seems to mean several different sets of desires and inputs to the standards group and a great deal of compromise and, for everyone else, confusion. The mentioned goals of interoperability, flexibility and industry standards would certainly be welcomed.
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