I just got back from teaching a class on Emerging Compute Models at the Intel sales conference. A few things really struck me in the messages from the Intel executives, and the reactions and questions from the Intel sales force. None of them really shocked me, but rather re-affirmed some opinions I already held.
1. With only one or two exceptions, every sales rep has accounts that are actively evaluating or deploying some kind of alternate compute model to better manage and secure their clients. I met two that had not encountered it yet, and they covered the Emerging Markets accounts.
2. This sales conference was "university style", where the attendees were free to pick and choose among over 100 sessions on different topics. The sessions we taught were packed - standing room only - indicating that interest in these new compute models is very high. If the sales reps are interested, that means their customers are.
3. I'd estimate that more than 90% of those that selected our session were either from Western Europe or North America. Attendance from Japan, Asia-Pacific and China, the bulk of our sales force, was really low. If you judged from the people in the room, Emerging Compute Models are mostly a mature market, advanced IT trend right now.
4. Just about every executive from Intel CEO Paul Otellini on down talked about changes in the compute model, and Intel products to address the needs of every model - Intel Xeon processor-based servers, PC clients with Intel vPro technology and low-cost components for thin client terminals. I'd say Intel is treating this like an opportunity rather than a threat, and is setting up for success regardless of the model that fits the customers' needs.
From these indicators, my conclusion is that we are in the middle of a permanent change in the application delivery landscape, at least in the mature markets. The technology has caught up with need for better management, lower cost and stronger security, and I expect you'll hear a lot more from Intel about products tuned to these delivery models.