Cloud key strategy for Intel: Liam Keating


Liam Keating, Intel APAC IT director and China IT country manager.

Liam Keating, Intel APAC IT director and China IT country manager.

“The benefits of cloud are real! We have so far seen $17 million savings to date from our internal cloud efforts,” said Liam Keating, Intel APAC IT director and China IT country manager. He was speaking at the Intel APAC Cloud Summit in Malaysia.

Intel currently runs 91 data centers, globally, from over 140, about a couple of years ago. As of now, cloud has become a key strategy for Intel.

If one views Intel’s data center profile, it looks like this:
D – Design – Expanded HPC solutions.
O – Office – Enterprise private cloud.
M – Manufacturing – Factory automation.
E – Enterprise  - Enterprise private cloud.
S – Services –  Enterprise private cloud.

In the past (in 2009), Intel had 12 percent virtualization.  It had a design grid as well. According to Keating, Intel’s experience with grid computing helped in the company’s cloud computing strategy. Currently, Intel boasts over 50 percent virtualization. In future, this would move to over 75 percent. Keating added that Intel will continue to experiment and evolve the public cloud.

As for the applications residing on the internal cloud, these include: engineering 5 percent, sales/marketing 19 percent, ERP 13 percent, HR/finance/legal 22 percent, operations/security/manageability 26 percent, and productivity/collaboration 15 percent.

The business benefits are immense. “We are improving the velocity and availability of IT services,” Keating said. He outlined five strategic benefits, as below:
* Agility – immediate provisioning.
* Higher responsiveness.
*  Lower business costs.
* Flexible configurations.
* Secured infrastructure.

In terms of business velocity, there has been reduced provisioning time — from 90 days to three hours. Intel is now on its way to minutes! As for efficiency, the server consolidation is at a 20:1 ratio. In terms of capacity, there has been a shift from capacity planning to demand forecast modes. Finally, quality, where the standard configurations improved consistency and enabled automation.

Intel has learned best practices lessons from implementing the  cloud. First, the cloud terminology itself. There have been leadership support as well as IT business partnerships. Intel has also set short-term priorities — pervasive virtualization and faster provisioning. Intel has also learned to manage with data – P2V RoI, measured services, business intelligence (BI) collection, server sizing, etc.

Current challenges facing Intel include asset management and utilization. There is a need to be cognizant of performance saturation, and also understand the degrees of separation. The integrated management view is critical in all of this.

Another challenge is presented by capacity planning, which is shifting to demand forecasting. Quicker provisioning requires the view into the future cloud as well. Next, automation re-inforces the workforce too!

Intel’s IT division has successfully developed a private cloud. This has aligned the IT strategy to business needs. Business benefits will generate value. Cloud transition has now become a multi-year journey at Intel.

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