Do you remember the day when you were first aware that everywhere you went, people we’re talking about dot.com? Every start-up was telling you how the Internet was going to change the world, everyone you knew was talking about how they were using the web, and every bit of marketing flowing from the tech industry had to feature an Internet angle. It’s like someone had turned a switch connecting people in a global zeitgeist that said if you wanted to move forward in life you needed to travel into the net.
A similar phenomenon has struck the tech world for the past couple of years with the word cloud. If you’re a computing industry player you know your products have to have a cloud angle, if you’re an IT manager you know you’ve got to have a plan to use cloud, and if you’re a user you might have even heard about this thing called cloud. You may not agree with anyone else on the definition of cloud, but you know it’s important and you know you can’t get left behind. Which brings me to a comment a friend of mine made to me back during the dot.com boom…”at some point people have to stop talking about this thing and really start delivering it”. Wise words that companies like buildyourownpants.com should have listened to.
Over the past six months or so, the vaporous nature of cloud has been dissipating with a sense of customers beginning to implement solutions, take advantage of public cloud resources for targeted workloads and technology has come to market that offers real differentiated innovation. Today at Intel is all about that delivery…our event called “Day in the Cloud” has brought together some of the leaders of cloud computing to show what we techies at Intel call Reference Architectures, proven technology solutions that address some of the critical user requirements for cloud deployments...and all based on industry standard solutions that our collective customers desire. Our Intel Cloud Builders lab is opening up to show these reference architectures to some leading computing editors and bloggers to highlight the incredible progress the industry has made in shifting from talk into action…into delivery of real solutions ready for customer deployment in both public and enterprise cloud environments.
The concept is simple. A reference architecture is designed by a team of engineers to be a step by step recipe for getting a solution up and running. It lists the ingredients (detailed lists of hardware and software that comprise the solution) and details the process of building the solution (think scripts, BIOS settings etc…kind of like Julia Child for the cloud). With hardware vendors, software vendors and Intel engineers working together to develop and test each Reference Architecture, the end result is something that IT managers can safely use to stand up their own cloud solutions in test beds and production environments. And interestingly enough, along the way this collaboration leads to additional insight for engineering teams that help improve the quality of the overall solution.
The Intel Cloud Builders program has delivered 25 of these reference architecture “recipes”, but today was the first day we actually showed a number of them (eight to be specific) up and running to a public audience. These are available to folks who are getting their feet wet with these new technologies or for folks who have already begun deploying cloud solutions and are looking to improve critical capabilities like end to end security or on boarding from the enterprise to the public cloud. With ecosystem partners including Cisco, Citrix, Dell, EMC, Gproxy, Hytrust, Microsoft, NetApp, Parallels and Vmware on hand to showcase their cloud solutions, the picture became clear that the cloud is swiftly moving from a bunch of hot air to smooth sailing solutions. Check out our Day in the Cloud web page to keep pace with the day’s events and see what our guests have to say about the industry innovation on display today.
If you want to hear more from these industry experts and other cloud computing leaders check out my new podcast program: Conversations in the Cloud