Intel Lays Groundwork to Fulfill 2015 Cloud Vision

By Nicole Hemsoth

October 29, 2010

According to IDC forecasts, “by 2015, over 2.5 billion people with more than 10 billion devices will access the Internet,” which means that capacity will be stretched to over twice what it is now. Already, datacenters are experiencing the effects of increased demand, and build-outs of existing datacenters, due to cost and efficiency pressures, are forced to learn quickly how they can somehow manage to become far more efficient while still offering peak performance.

What is needed is an overhaul of current theories about efficient datacenter operation so that flexibility and cloud architectures are given sufficient weight. These are all issues that Intel addressed recently via a string of announcements that were geared toward creating a more open, accessible, flexible and efficient cloud.

This week Intel announced its Cloud 2015 Vision, which sets forth its mission to create a “federated, automated and client-aware” environment that adheres to its three pillars of cloud, including efficiency, simplification and security as well as its goals to “create solutions that are open, multi-vendor and interoperable.” By packaging a small bundle of rhetoric-driven announcements into a hard-to-disagree-with bundle of topics that challenge cloud adoption, Intel took some steps toward making itself heard in the “cloudosphere” on some of the major issues that vendors in niche cloud spaces have often discussed at length.

Key Challenges for the Next Five Years

Intel’s goals over the next five years are based on some inherent challenges that are holding the paradigm shift of cloud at bay. These include:

• Maintaining the stability of mission-critical applications during the cloud migration process.

• Finding ways to negotiate issues related to privacy, security and the protection of intellectual property.

• The automation and flexibility of resources will still be evolving as cloud tools continue to evolve.

• Finding solutions that will meet goals of interoperability and maintain flexibility.

• Making sure that cloud-based applications enable user productivity, no matter what device is being used.

In order to address these challenges, the company has named three pillars in its strategy for the years to come. These elements are defined by the words “federated, automated and client-aware.”

The Federation and the Fleet

In Intel’s view, the concept of a federated cloud refers to an equally vague notion that “communications, data and services can move easily across cloud infrastructures.” In non-marketing speak, that means that interoperability is the prime directive for the federation since datacenters have had difficulty moving data and services across their own borders.

 Intel is calling for “a level of federation that enables the movement of workloads and data from one service provider to another burst implementations between internal private cloud and public cloud providers if additional capacity is needed; and secure and reliable data flow across vendors, partners and clients.” Sounds like a tall order, but if Intel is backing it and they’ve got five years to do something about it, we can hold out hope that this federation goals will go beyond rhetoric.

Today Intel, along with 70 other vendors announced the creation of a coalition to form a system of open standards for the cloud called the Open Data Center Alliance. This fits in with the 2015 vision and according to reports, will represent over $50 billion in annual IT investment. Since Intel’s products are driving the vast majority of the servers operating in the cloud now, they will not be members who have a vote, but instead will serve as technical consultants.

According to Intel’s representative for the Open Data Center Alliance, Billy Cox, the coalition “is a way to create and unify the voice of cloud consumers and cloud users, using usage models as a way to specify requirements. We’ve never seen this approach before.”

Automatic for the People

Automation is another keystone in the three pillars that Intel sees as upholding its Cloud Vision for 2015, which means that provisioning is no longer a crisis situation and is instead handled automatically. Ever since IDC released its 2009 Data Center Survey report suggesting that virtualization thus far has not reduced complexity and that in fact, “the number of server instances that can be managed by the average system administrator has increased from 27 to 41, comparing non-virtualized servers to virtualized servers” we can see how Intel might see this is an issue worth tackling.

Without effective datacenter automation, the benefits of cloud, particularly from a cost standpoint are diminished and furthermore, adding this layer of complexity into an IT organization doesn’t make the cloud a very attractive option. Intel sees it as of critical importance to address issues of automation of provisioning, resource monitoring, reporting for consumption for bill back and workload balancing. Again, a tall order, but one that is being worked out at various other cloud management-focused companies.

Client Awareness and the Lowest Common Denominator

One of the greatest challenges on the horizon for the cloud ecosystem will be the vast number and array of devices. As Intel states, “today there are certain frameworks that allow for some level of datacenter intelligence and scaling to support the client being served; but they are neither consistently applied nor ubiquitous. Many of today’s Internet services default to the lowest common denominator even if the user is accessing the service with a more capable device such as a PC.”

As the amount of data being generated continues to increase and the range of devices continues to expand, Intel suggests that the only solution is for datacenter and service providers to enable secure access and optimized experience regardless of device, for “the cloud to sense and dynamically adjust to take advantage of attributes and capabilities of the client device,” including everything from the battery and connectivity to policies.

How many times have I used the phrase “tall order” and would it violate the rules of writing or be redundant if I said it again? Do I really need to at this point?

Moving Beyond Rhetoric

There are many key words in Intel’s mission statement for its cloud vision that is set to be realized by 2015 and while these are lofty goals — creating an interoperable and open cloud that focuses on efficiency and security — these are the same words echoed by any other number of cloud vendors in the space right now. However, coming close to creating interoperable solutions that provide an easy framework for users is much more complex than it sounds, and it will certainly be 2015 before major progress on the interoperability front (and not just due to Intel) will be made.

Intel thinks of cloud computing as less of a revolution and more as a paradigm shift in IT delivery. As the company noted in its explanation of its vision, the cloud “offers the potential for a transformation in the design, development and deployment of next-generation technologies,” which will “enable flexible, pay-as-you-go business models that will alter the future of computing from mobile platforms and devices to the datacenter.”

Interestingly, during this exact same week, Microsoft launched a full-blown effort to address many of these same issues, particularly as they relate to cross-device efforts to improve IT delivery. Through its “client-plus-cloud” initiative, the company is also seeking to address the many platforms and devices through which clients access and use resources, be those HPC or vanilla machines. Lately, in fact, there has been increasing momentum around the issues presented by mobile applications and their role, not only for mainstream use, but for HPC as well.

Many researchers are finding value in mobile access to their scientific applications and with the cloud, their data can be uploaded instantly to a remote source. This could mean new breakthroughs in research but the cloud and mobile technologies need to be able to work together seamlessly — a fact that both Intel and Microsoft (as well as the majority of other major vendors in the cloud space) are recognizing and addressing.

The Cloud Builders

In addition to its role in the Open Data Center Alliance, Intel also has pledged its commitment to its Cloud Builders program, which allows a number of vendor partners, including IBM, Microsoft and VMware, among others, to provide the solutions that are required according to the needs expressed by the alliance.

“Cloud Builders providers the industry a central point for cloud innovation based on the IT requirements defined by the Open Data Center Alliance and other IT end users.” The program also aims to publish “detailed reference architectures, success stories, and best practices that customer can use now to deploy and enhance the cloud.”

Intel is taking steps toward creating a healthier cloud ecosystem, but true revolutionizing, especially on the interoperability front, is going to take one heck of a lot more than simply having detailed conversations about it. While it’s too early to begin speculating on how the challenges preventing seamless interoperability standards will actually pan out, seeing how the rhetoric spills over to the real world will be interesting to watch.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “pre-exascale” award), parsed out additional information ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid whoops and hollers from the crowd, Thomas Sterling presented t Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out plans to push deeper into climate science and develop more gran Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale companies and their embrace of AI and deep learning – tha Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Creating a Roadmap for HPC Innovation at ISC 2017

In an era where technological advancements are driving innovation to every sector, and powering major economic and scientific breakthroughs, high performance computing (HPC) is crucial to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. Read more…

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network designed to emulate and compete with the human brain. In thi Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big data and artificial intelligence software to its top-of-the-l Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “global” launch event in Austin TX. In many ways it was a fu Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it, analysts and journalists want to report on it. Deep learni Read more…

By Doug Black

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid wh Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out pla Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale Read more…

By Doug Black

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big d Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “g Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it Read more…

By Doug Black

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Messina Update: The US Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This