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Intel Cloud Builders creating reference architectures for the cloud

by Philip Sellers

At Intel, engineers have been hard at work creating reference architectures with its partners utilizing Intel technologies through their Cloud Builders program. Last week, a group of bloggers, including myself, had the chance to sit down with Billy Cox, Director of Cloud Software Strategy at Intel in the Blogger’s Studio during HP Discover. Cox discussed the initiatives within Intel, why they are creating these reference architectures and what Intel hopes to accomplish.

Intel created the Cloud Builder program to invite industry partners into its research facility to experiment and create reference architectures in the lab to publish to customers. Cloud Builders is not about certifying the hardware, it is about creating references for customers who are looking to be a particular type of cloud. One reason Intel is not seeking certification is that cloud technology is changing at a very rapid pace and certification process would take an extended amount of time, during which technology would have already changed.

Cox said that Intel has really focused on building the private cloud model. Intel surveyed its end-user enterprise customers and came up with a list of use cases to focus on with its partners.

While researching with its partners, Intel has been able to find some gaps in technology, particularly in the case of management software for the cloud. But the research has also turned up other gaps, such as trusted compute pools and missing audit information that would be required for compliance.

Intel has also been working on technology such as the hardware root of trust which allows for hypervisors to send a request to the Intel hardware in plain text and receive an encrypted, signed response certifying that the response is coming from the trusted hardware. This was technology that had not found a use case, but in compliance heavy environments, its finally finding implementation.

Auditing has also been difficult to produce for these environments. This is an area that Intel and its partners are still focusing.

For more information about Cloud Builders and to find details about the reference architectures published, head over to http://www.intelcloudbuilders.com.

In the interest of full disclosure, HP and Ivy Worldwide invited me and paid for my trip to HP Discover. Even though, I am trying to relay the information as impartially as possible.

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