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Intel: Cloud must be more federated and automated

Archana Venkatraman

Cloud computing services must become more federated and automated to help enterprise IT use them to deliver more for less, according to Intel.

“At a time when IT budgets are tight and when the IT teams are expected to deliver more for less, they need cloud computing services that are more flexible and responsive,” said Alan Priestley, Intel’s strategic marketing manager involved in the Cloud Builders programme – a cross-industry initiative aimed to help users build and operate cloud infrastructure more easily.

Software and hardware companies have to together make cloud more “workable” for users, Alan Priestley added.

If cloud services become more federated, it becomes easier for users to deploy the right applications on the right platforms. 

“Users understand what applications are most useful for them, but they find it difficult to determine which cloud platform is best to run those applications on,” Priestley said.

Cloud federation refers to the process of interconnecting different cloud infrastructures for load balancing traffic and accommodating spikes in demand.

With a federated cloud, IT executives can look at their application portfolio and determine where each application should live. It will also help them add more security resources to the cloud stack which hosts mission-critical and business sensitive data.

One of the biggest advantages of a federated cloud is that enterprises can select cloud services from different providers to host different workloads, rather than buying cloud services from a single supplier and hosting all their apps on them.

The ability to choose different cloud services for different workloads will help enterprises run their IT more efficiently, Priestley said. 

“But today, cloud services are not as federated as they should be,” he added.

Federation is also the first step towards cloud interoperability. Today, a majority of enterprises use private cloud services, but as business grows and cloud security becomes more sophisticated, they will also use public cloud services and both cloud types will co-exist. Federated cloud frameworks will enable IT executives to integrate the management of multiple external and internal cloud computing services.

In addition, cloud computing services should be more automated so that IT executives are saved from day-to-day management tasks and they can focus on more strategic IT projects.

“Automation is happening, but more is required,” Priestley added.

“The ability to retrieve information from the cloud today is very difficult,” said Priestley. More federation will also allow IT to add and remove data from cloud-based services easily. Data transportability is one of the biggest difficulties for users of cloud-based services, Priestley pointed.

Better federation, automation, standards and interoperability are crucial for cloud computing services to be successful and for users to get the most from them, Priestley added.


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