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The data center of the future is multi-cloud. Intel and its partners want to make that future easier and more successful for you and your customers.

Multi-cloud is the future because the cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Instead, it turns out, a public cloud is great for some applications, but not all. Same thing for an on-premises private cloud. Both are powerful, but only when and where appropriate.

For this reason, the new best practice is to use both cloud types — sometimes separately, sometimes in combination, and only where each can do the most good. In other words, a multi-cloud environment.

Done right, the benefits your customers can get from a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud environment are impressive. These benefits include faster time to market, lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and increased system scalability.

So far, so good. But how do you help your data-center customers decide which jobs go where? Also, once customers have their multiple clouds up and running, how do you help them manage them in ways that are simple and intuitive?

Intel and some of its big-name partners — Microsoft and VMware among them — are here to help. They’ve joined forces to offer you and your customers ready-to-go solutions for tomorrow’s hybrid-cloud setups.

3 ways to go

Right now, Intel and its partners are offering 3 hybrid-cloud solutions: open hybrid cloud, VMware Hybrid and Microsoft Azure Stack.

One powerful feature that all 3 options include is a “single pane of glass” management GUI. Combined with orchestration tools, the GUI lets administrators manage all their organization’s clouds seamlessly, simply and in one place.

These management GUIs have different names, but they all work pretty similarly. VMware’s is called the Hybrid Cloud Manager. Microsoft’s, the Azure Resource Manager. For open hybrid clouds, management tools include Red Hat CloudForms and “container orchestration” from Kubernetes. Or get the OnApp Enteprise Cloud.

Another way to go is with a customizable hybrid cloud. Here, your customer would start with their choice of both private and public cloud services. Then they would add 3 more elements: a cloud management platform, an automation framework, and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Suppliers of these elements include RightScale, OpenStack, Vixtera, Puppet Labs, Cloud Foundry and Cloudify.

Modern platform for cloud

Naturally, these vendor-specific solutions all run on Intel-based servers. As Intel likes to say, modern clouds demand a modern platform.

The latest from Intel is its line of Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Intel says these CPUs offer up to 4x more virtual machines (VMs) per server, compared with a 4-year-old server.

Available in 4 brand families — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum — the Intel Xeon Scalable processors have been designed to support today’s hybrid-cloud infrastructures. These Intel cloud-oriented features include:

> Cloud Integrity Technology (CIT): a suite of security features including platform and workload protection; containers with integrity assurance; and secure database platform boot.

> Platform Firmware Resilience: protects critical firmware during boot and runtime attacks. If malware is detected, it automatically performs recovery.

> Key Protection Technology: Platform security feature that helps secure cryptographic keys in hardware.

> Software Guard Extensions (SGX): an architecture extension designed to protect the integrity of applications and data.

Getting started

One of the first things you can help customers sort out is workload placement. In other words, which tasks would do best on a public, private or hybrid cloud?

The following chart, courtesy of Intel, can help you think through the issue. Workloads shown on the left (marked as "off-premises") are more suitable for a public cloud. Those on the right ("on-premises"), for a private cloud. And those in the middle, for a hybrid cloud:

Intel affinity model for workload placement

So tell your customers to stop getting get hung up on public cloud vs. on-prem private cloud. It’s not an either-or choice anymore. The future is multi-cloud. And some big suppliers are here to help make it a success.


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Blog Category: 
Cloud and Data Centers