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10/27/2010
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Intel Spearheads Open Data Alliance For Cloud Users

Defining cloud services, setting 2011 roadmap and prompting broader adoption are goals of 70-member group.

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A group of 70 current and potential cloud users has banded together to form the Open Data Center Alliance, a group that will issue a roadmap on cloud interoperability in early 2011. Intel ‘s inside -- as a technical adviser, not a voting member.

The participation by Intel is a sign of how uniformly cloud data centers rely on the x86 architecture. Even IBM, manufacturer of the Power series of microprocessors, built its Research Triangle Park cloud on x86 servers.

Speeding cloud development and interoperability is likely to speed Intel and AMD chip consumption. That’s why Intel orchestrated the alliance. It will set best practices and standards that allow enterprises to proceed with cloud operations.

The alliance estimates that $100 billion in cloud investments would be freed up over the next few years if enterprises could be “released from anxiety about vendor lock-in,” said Kirk Skaugen, VP and general manager of Intel’s Data Center Group, in a Webcast announcing the formation of the group. The initial 70 members represent a combined $50 billion in IT spending, said Skaugen. The Steering Committee of the group is composed of: Deutsches Bank, UBS, JP Morgan Chase & Co., National Australia Bank, Marriott International, Shell, Lockheed Martin, BMW, China Life and the cloud infrastructure as a service supplier, Terremark.

The group is looking to provide guidance on building cloud data centers and standards for the interoperability of public and private clouds by 2015.

Prospective members may join at Steering Committee level, Contributor or Adopter levels. Anyone building a cloud infrastructure may join at the adopter level.

“We believe the Open Data Center Alliance will quickly become a leading voice of the IT community,” said Marvin Wheeler, chief strategy officer of Terremark and chairman of the alliance in today’s announcement of its creation. It will seek to create “a unified voice for future data center requirements,” said Skaugen.

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