On Cloud Security at Vmworld: The Long View is Solutions Over Products

I hope I don’t sound biased when I claim that Intel is not afraid to take a long view on a technology.  Sometimes we just don’t know how long our view really is!  In such cases, the company has to make some tough choices, ranging from retrenchment to perseverance.  I’m sure there are many times where the “right thing to do” is hardly obvious.

Intel has long been an advocate of trusted computing, and has worked hard for quite some time to make it a reality. There have been times where this investment and advocacy has been challenging. I personally have spent several years working on technology development and marketing teams to bring Intel Trusted Execution Technology to market.  I’ll confess, while it has been rewarding at times it has had its frustrating moments as well.  But it has brought me to an epiphany.

The frustration that many of us experienced highlights the difference between delivering or enabling a technology versus a solution.  A technology can be cool and different for a visionary or an analyst, but that is pretty much it. A solution on the other hand, can be a real game-changer for businesses and end users.  What I’ve learned is that it takes a lot longer to put together a solution that customers can really buy, deploy and use—especially when these solutions have a lot of moving parts provided by potentially many different vendors.

Over the last year at VMworld and IDF we showcased the growing product support for trusted computing in the datacenter with new server platforms from IBM, Cisco, Dell and others that featured Intel® Trusted Execution Technology.  And make no mistake; it is always gratifying to see technologies implemented in products. And we had the ability to show hypervisor products proof of concept technology demonstrations from folks like VMware and Red Hat that supported Intel TXT and we discussed Trusted Compute Pools use models that garnered a lot of interest.  That too is really cool. But these were still really products and concepts.  They have been really only suitable for the early adopters and IT shops that have the time, interest and expertise to be do-it-yourselfers. From the inside, I can see tremendous progress, but more is needed to get trust into the mainstream. Hence the frustration.

Beginning at VMworld 2012, we can take a major step forward and open trust to a broader audience as there will be a growing set of enablement options to bring into public view.  The biggest “new” capability is Cloud providers offering support for trusted platforms in their offerings. It will be very rewarding to be onstage with Kevin Reid, the CEO and CTO of cloud provider Virtustream will be providing a perspective on enterprise class cloud—with trust as a key customer requirement.

The session titled Whom Can You Trust? The Rationale for Cloud Security from a Service Provider (Session SPO3286) at 11AM on Wednesday August 29, 2012 will give us the opportunity for the first time to highlight more secure, trustworthy cloud solutions based on the technologies and products we’ve been enabling for months. With this, trusted computing can move from the do-it-yourselfer phase to a more readily obtainable solution for the masses. And with that, we bring our long view ever closer to a customer reality.

I invite you to learn more and interact with us on our journey towards safer computing.  Visit us at Vmworld 2012 at the Intel booth (#1131) at the IQ Bar or come by session SPO3286 on Wednesday at 11AM to hear and ask questions for yourself. You can also Follow Intel on Twitter @IntelITS, on Facebook, and here in the Intel Data Stack room for updates.