Extending our Cloud “Field of Vision” beyond 2015

It’s been over a year since we started to talk about the Intel Cloud 2015 Vision to  enable secure  federation, automation of data centers and client-aware cloud services.  We originally articulated the  vision as a way to highlight the capabilities that we felt were needed for  cloud computing, and to serve as a rallying cry that drove our technology  development at Intel.

We introduced new virtualization, security, and management  technologies in support of the cloud computing vision, it is not enough.   It became clear that we would not see breakthroughs  in security, efficiency, data analytics and device innovation without a  concerted, forward-thinking research effort.  Today, we announced a $15M multi-university research commitment, called  the Intel  Science and Technology Center (ISTC) for Cloud Computing.  Combined with the recently announced $15M investment in the ISTC for Secure Computing, this will accelerate cloud  computing innovation. I think it’s a great start, and I want to highlight a few  of the outcomes I expect we’ll see.

My first anticipated outcome is a new type of “hybrid” cloud.  When most people think of hybrid cloud, they generally refer to the combination  of public and private clouds.   What I  refer to here is a cloud comprised of multiple, different types of computing  devices where workloads run on the device, and it delivers the capability most  efficiently.    Conventional wisdom today  is that a cloud should be as homogenous as possible. While that may be  effective for simplicity and consistency of service, it does not necessarily  produce the most cost or power efficient results. We deliver architectures for  highly parallelized workloads, for high performance threads, for lightweight or  IO bound workloads, amongst others. We need to develop the automation to bring  this best architecture for the job approach to cloud computing.   This is one of the focus areas for ISTC  under the umbrella of “specialization” – the ability to enable highly  specialized workload placement in a cloud environment.

Second, “exa-scale” clouds – Parallel analytics and  distributed databases were born out of the requirement for dealing with large  datasets in a cost effective manner.    Most data centers that deal with Peta-byte sized data bases still involve  programming challenges.    This is even  before we add the substantial growth of video and large scientific data sets  that we anticipate over the next several years.    To address the next order of magnitude in  datasets, the ISTC plans to research new tools that would facilitate debugging  of big data programs.

The third potential outcome is client-aware clouds. We’ve  talked about the goal of a client-aware cloud that adapts to the proliferation  and differing requirements of the 15 Billion connected devices we anticipate by  2015.   The ISTC effort wants to take the  effort to the next level by enabling greater real-time adaptation of the cloud  for mobile computing requirements.   Moreover, the centers will perform research on how to mitigate limited  uplink bandwidths.  The result is a cloud  that is aware of the needs; location and context of a device, and can deliver  the right computing and service to it.

I believe the research from the ISTC investment will benefit  the collective industry.  We know the  problems and limitations of cloud that exist in the ability to automate diverse  workloads, to manage large data and to adapt to devices across different  networks.   Since we will invest early  and work with leading universities, I believe we take the right steps to  deliver research that will provide the right breakthroughs to get us to Cloud  2020.

Published on Categories Cloud ComputingTags
Jason Waxman

About Jason Waxman

Jason is corporate vice president of the Data Center Group and general manager of the Data Center Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. He manages Intel’s business, products and technologies for cloud service providers, a rapidly growing data center business segment. Waxman oversees the company’s technology development for cloud computing, including silicon components, optimized system design, data center management, security and facility optimization.