MOUNTAIN VIEW: Intel took to the stage at the OpenStack Silicon Valley conference to expand on its commitment to OpenStack as the platform to drive the introduction of tens of thousands of new clouds in the future.
Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Centre Group and pictured above, discussed the firm's Cloud for All initiative at the OpenStack conference at California's Computer History Museum, revealing that Intel itself operates OpenStack infrastructure in its data centres.
"We started using OpenStack in 2011 before it became popular and when it was much less mature than today, but we took on the challenge because the value proposition of cloud computing was so compelling," said Bryant, who was Intel's chief information officer at the time.
Intel faced similar problems to other companies, in that its internal servers were running at about 10 percent utilisation and it took too long to provision new infrastructure, Bryant said. One of Intel's own engineers proposed building it into a private infrastructure-as-a-service cloud instead, using OpenStack to address the problems.
Intel is now getting behind OpenStack in the same way as it has Linux in the past, putting investment and engineering resources into the open-source project to help it advance. Specifically, Intel sees the need for the platform to be made more enterprise-ready, according to Bryant.
"There are still features missing from OpenStack that enterprises require, such as failover, version control, management to integrate into existing infrastructure, ticketing and monitoring," she said.
"Our goal at Intel is to eliminate impediments to growth and drive tens of thousands of new clouds. Building a cloud should be as seamless and easy as loading a new operating system on a server. To make this possible, we will invest in the cloud stack, optimise for high efficiency and work with the community to ensure interoperability."
The Cloud for All initiative sees Intel working with Rackspace, with which it has already partnered to set up the OpenStack Innovation Centre, and Mirantis to engineer the equivalent capabilities into OpenStack. Intel recently signed a $100m OpenStack enterprise technology and investment deal with Mirantis.
Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis, said that Intel's increased involvement carries significant symbolic value.
"Today, OpenStack is hard, but not too long ago Linux was also hard, such that the most common consumption model was shipping it ready installed on a server," he said.
"A lot of organisations got behind Linux to make it easier and one of those was Intel, so Intel choosing OpenStack for Cloud for All is symbolic of how, if we put our minds together, we can get OpenStack to where Linux is today."
Paul Voccio, vice president of software development at Rackspace, explained that one of the areas that needs addressing is security.
"We want to build security by default into OpenStack, exposing the security capabilities Intel has built into the hardware," he said.
"As we look to the future we need to maintain the pace of development and bring hyperscale efficiency to the masses, not just the few."
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