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Cloud Computing Trends In India; Intel's Cloud 2015 Vision

Adoption and usage of private Cloud solutions by small and medium businesses besides various government organisations in India are fuelling chipmaker Intel's aggressive push for adopting Cloud computing as part of its Cloud 2015 vision.

"Cloud has increased the flexibility for end customers as well as the choice of products and services for customers. Intel's Cloud 2015 is based on three pillars of federation, automation and client awareness," said R Ravichandran, director – sales, sales and marketing group, Intel South Asia.

He was talking on the side lines of Intel's Cloud Summit 2011, which saw around 150 CIOs from banking, IT and telecom industries gathering to discuss the domestic opportunity and future trends.

Trends In Cloud Computing

-Smarter, Greener Datacentres: The growth of datacentre processors since 2000 has doubled and by 2015, Cloud will reach 20 per cent of overall usage volume of datacentre processors. Datacentre volumes will also double by 2015 compared to 2010. Enterprises across the world are also relooking temperatures of datacentres– from 18-20 degrees, a shift to a more balmy 27 degrees will result in savings on carbon footprint, said Ravichandran.

-3D Transistors: Currently Intel makes 32 nm chips. Next year this will become 22 nm. As the chipmaker is hitting real estate challenges, transistors are now becoming 3D.

-Security: Kimberly S Stevenson, VP – IT global operations and services, Intel Corp, feels security is not necessarily an overblown issue. "With security and contracting mechanisms that happened this year many cloud providers look at business impact and where clients lost data. There are rapid improvements in protection of data that will help private and public cloud. We will not put IP in a public cloud," she said. Intel's identity protection technology will also be used to secure online transactions.

-Standardisation: Intel is facilitating an alliance of end users of 300 CIOs and CTOs with its Open Data Center Alliance, where they look at challenges with infrastructure, SaaS, and government regulations on data storage. "The CTOs come up with a roadmap, which is distributed to vendors, who create solutions which are implemented. The idea is to rapidly accelerate cloud deployment," said Ravichandran. They will also set standards for cloud computing across various services offered by vendors.

-Vendor Lock-in: When implementing cloud, many companies in India are facing hardware lock-in, with negotiations. However, Ravichandran said that with x86 chips there is hardly any hardware lock-in happening.

-Server Market Impact: For every 600 users being added to the mobile ecosystem and every 122 tablets, a company needs to add a server. "We don't see server market being impacted. In terms of consumer devices, you will see Intel-based smartphones next year. We are not category based and will offer a continuum of devices going forth – from smartphones to tablets to laptops and servers. We see opportunities at both ends – clients as well as servers," said Ravichandran.

-Uptake: People have started to talk about cloud only in the last 2-3 years. Ravichandran says cloud is the perfect solution for SMBs in India and expects to see it being adopted in a big way soon. Enterprises, on the other hand, are moving to the private cloud and not public cloud. Today, enterprises are using multi-core systems with 6-8 cores. This is a step towards further adoption of cloud-based services and apps.

-Live TV, Digital Hoardings: Intel's collaboration with Toyota, will help make long drives more fun with Live TV in your car. Embedded devices in digital hoardings bring flexibility, lower costs, more targeted advertising to outdoor brand campaigns.

Intel's Own Cloud Adoption & Challenges

Intel is now tom-tom-ing its own adoption of a private cloud. "Cloud is a very important technology shift that will change the way businesses run. We have netted $9 million in net savings from our internal cloud effort which includes benefits from automated provisioning of servers and reduced costs," said Stevenson.

Intel has 91 data centres, 6300 IT employees and more than 105,000 devices. From 12 per cent virtualisation in 2009, Intel has reached 50 per cent virtualisation with server provisioning, on demand self-service hours to service. In future, it hopes to get 75 per cent virtualisation with fully automated server provisioning.

Challenges faced during the private Cloud adoption within Intel include security, capacity planning and lack of talented Cloud architects. Stevenson said that there were not a lot of manageability tools for security and Intel had to build them in-house. She also said that capacity planning has shifted to predictive models and is still one of those areas that Intel has not perfected.

"There is a transformation in IT operations workforce. Previously there were server people, network people and database people. With Cloud, we need a thin layer of people who understand all the tech domains and with the next level of transformation happening, the resource base has to understand all the technologies. There are very few cloud architects today and soon system admins will need to understand all systems, not just servers," said Stevenson.

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