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Intel advises Open Data Center Alliance

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cloud computing? alliance? standards?

Intel Corp. has pledged to help drive the creation of standards for cloud networks by participating in the Open Data Center Alliance, which it helped create.

The alliance, which includes more than 70 companies from around the world, plans to create a roadmap to drive interoperability, flexibility and industry standards for cloud computing and next generation data centers. Members come from a broad range of vertical markets including Shell Oil, UBS, Lockheed Martin, and BMW. All together, the companies spend more than $50 billion per year in IT investment.

Kirk Skaugen, Intel VP and general manager of the data center group, Intel, emphasized that the company is participating as a technical advisor and 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 committed 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 [as an organization that is going to] recreate the wheel," Skaugen said. "There are lots of good cloud bodies out there."

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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