Intel’s private cloud building process

In the last four years, Intel Corp. has been building its private cloud largely based on the OpenStack open source platform with a view of making it easier for its workers to access and use resources.

For instance, according to Das Kamhout, principal engineer of the company’s cloud computing division, Intel wanted its private cloud to make it easier for the company’s application developers to turn on the apps they were working on.

For Kamhout cloud computing broadly means: being able to provide on-demand, self-service for users; broad network access, shared resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured services.
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So far, Intel has virtualized 77 per cent of the servers across the company, he said. Anyone working at Intel can access resources on-demand from a self-service portal.

However, Intel’s private cloud initiative is not all about virtualizing machines.

The real value, according to Kamhout, is when Intel workers can access the virtualized structure without waiting for IT to provision if for them.

He said Intel’s cloud is built mostly on OpenStack.

OpenStack services such as Swift storage, Nova computer services and the Keystone dashboard project are employed in Intel’s private cloud.

Intel contributes code to OpenStack and Kamhout said working on an open source cloud environment has been a good collaborative experience for Intel’s IT team. He said OpenStack is definitely enterprise ready for savvy IT teams.

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Kamhout has these few suggestions for IT professionals working on cloud implementation projects:

Focus on the people – Make sure you focus on the uses who will be consuming the services you are creating. The more IT works with users with their needs, the less likely administrators will have to deal with shadow IT.

Focus on staff that implementing the service – Kamhout said there is often this fear among some IT staff that their jobs will become unnecessary once cloud services are implemented. However, he said, as cloud services are rolled out, IT shops are faced with new challenges and maintenance work.

Future projects are also likely to crop up as the organization maps out its cloud strategy. For instance, Kamhout is now looking forward to tackle service-as-a-software (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS0 as future projects down the line.

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