Cloud computing, which refers to delivery of computing resources (hardware and software) as a service over the internet, is gaining traction. Along with the need for companies to cut costs, the massive amount of data being churned and need for storage has spurred the development of cloud computing. Jason Fedder, APAC & PRC, data centre product general manager at chipmaker Intel, shares his company’s vision on cloud computing with Aswathy Varughese. Excerpts from the interview:
What’s Intel’s vision for cloud computing?
Cloud computing technology is at a maturing phase. Development of both private and public cloud has become a priority for many cloud services and vendors. Intel’s cloud vision for the next few years will be on three important areas: federated, automated and client-aware. Federated refers to communications, data and services moving easily within and across cloud computing infrastructures. Today, the industry is just reaching the point that enterprises can move or migrate workloads within and between their own data centres. Automated will make the cloud computing resources and services specified, located and secure with zero human interaction. Our vision is to fill the gap the industry is facing to achieve full automation. Data centre management remains very manual today. Intel’s vision on cloud computing calls for automation that dynamically allocates resources to agreed-upon service levels and optimises the data centre. Client-aware will be a significant focus area, which will help clients take advantage of the capabilities of the end point to optimise application delivery in a secure fashion.
What is your expectation from firms on cloud computing?
Individual organisation and the industry as a whole should focus on efficiency, simplification and security. Resources such as space, power, cooling capacity, qualified IT professionals are limited. Also, multiple architectures increase complexities and increased server utilisations demand more network bandwidth requirements. Systems from different vendors will result in certain complications. Hence, there should be simplicity in cloud architectures and practices. Data security is paramount in cloud architectures. Hence, successful implementation of cloud needs new security models to meet the challenges.
What are your projections on cloud and network growth?
As per our estimation, there will be 25% growth in cloud or storage and 30% network growth.
Can you share some data centre trends?
Efficiency mixed with new capabilities is driving data centre growth. We are witnessing 60% growth in the total market and there will be considerable growth in the emerging markets, too. Market growth is attracting new entrants like Lenovo.
What are the new products launched by Intel?
We have some new sets of products for covering our client needs. Microserver/workload optimised Xeon for cloud and ultra-low power CPU based on Atom for network storage.
What are the key benefits from cloud computing?
The adoption of this technology reduces the capital expenditure up to 70% and operational expenses up to 30%. It definitely lowers the information technology cost. It helps in improvement of efficiency and enables optimum hardware utilisation.
What are the challenges in this space?
Energy, managing services and data, and cost control would be the major challenges in the coming years for the successful accomplishment in cloud computing. Big data management and ensuring security are also major concerns. Hackers and other online threats can attack and illegally access data through various means. The attack may occur at the provisioning platform, hardware (BIOS, processor or hyper-visor), or at the software level.
The provisioning platform refers to the system which provides users with privileges that allow them to gain access to company’s IT resources. The hyper-visor is the hardware or software platform that handles the infrastructure’s virtualised ecosystem. The software level, on the other hand, includes data applications and operating systems inside the virtualised environment.
What is your partnership with open data centre alliance aimed at?
Open Data Centre Association is an independent organisation of global IT managers. They meet data centre requirements of the clients. Their main focus is on delivering next generation data centre and cloud requirements. Intel is a technical adviser to them. For the industry to deliver on the economic benefits that cloud computing can offer, there is a need for interoperability and standards. Since the growth in this space is significant, the industry felt the necessity of guidelines for companies that are planning to put up a cloud infrastructure. ODCA was formed for this reason. Starting with 70 firms, ODCA’s membership has quadrupled. Organisations that became part of the ODCA spend over $100 billion in IT investments. This year ODCA has staged Forecast 2012 Solutions Provider Summit.