Intel Unveils 'Intel Inside'-Style Campaign for Cloud Providers

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Print this article Print

The Powered by Intel Cloud Technology is designed to give organizations more visibility into the technologies being used in cloud infrastructures.

The cloud business is an important one for Intel, particularly as more workloads move from data center servers to the cloud. During a conference call in October 2013, CEO Brian Krzanich said revenues in the company's cloud business jumped 40 percent in the third quarter over the same period in 2012.

Having an Intel Inside sort of campaign for the cloud also will be important to the chip maker. The cloud will be one of several areas of competition between Intel and ARM and its partners, which this year are expected to begin releasing 64-bit ARM-based SoCs for low-power servers.

Intel is rapidly building out its processor portfolio to include chips—not only Xeon processors, but also low-power Atom systems-on-a-chips (SoCs)—that can run the systems that form the foundation of these massive cloud infrastructures. The vendor also is offering a greater range of versions of these chips that can be optimized for particular workloads.

Intel not only is addressing such areas as processor speed, storage and memory capacity in these chips, but also security, which Waxman called the top concern of businesses that are considering moving workloads to the cloud. Through its acquisition of security software maker McAfee in 2011, Intel is integrating security features into its chips, including AES-NI encryption and Trusted Execution Technology.

Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT Research, said Intel's initiative could prove valuable to both the CSPs and their customers. Server technology is constantly evolving, and it's important for organizations to understand what their workloads are running on.

"There are quite a number of applications, particularly when you get into mission-critical applications, where having the correct amount of memory to support a [virtual machine] instance is a critical issue that could negatively impact app performance if it's not correct," King told eWEEK.

Businesses need to know the various cost tradeoffs involved with the technology, he said, likening always going with the lowest-cost technology to going to a "bargain-basement dentist." Eventually there will be regrets.