A new cosmic dawn
Intel has seen the light. I’m not talking light at the end of the tunnel here, because it can’t be said of Intel that it’s scrambling its way forward. It’s more like the light of revelation. What it saw were the myriads of power-on LEDs, like a constellation in the night sky, lighting up the data centres of hyper-scalers Amazon and Google. The cosmic dawn took a long time coming. Intel’s epiphany moment has arrived in rather less time.
Ok, that’s enough hyperbole. What I’m referring to is Intel’s $100M capital and engineering investment in Mirantis, the pure-play OpenStack company. Hot on the heels of a slew of announcements, including Cisco’s purchase of Tropo, Intel’s involvement is further conclusive proof – as if any more were needed – of the inexorability of cloud computing.
There is a trend. A recent article in the New York Times (1) indicated that five of the six companies that Cisco has acquired (or announced its intention to acquire), this year, are involved in cloud computing.
Intel is, by a wide margin, the biggest chip supplier to the enterprise computing market. The light that Intel has seen – in a flash of inspiration like the proverbial light bulb of Eureka! – is an incandescent truth. That reality is best illustrated by the following: what do you do when the market for your chips is changing from very many companies, each buying lots of product, to very few companies, each buying lots more product?
The inherent danger for companies like Intel, in such a market, is that a supplier becomes more vulnerable to the purchasing decisions of fewer, but consequentially more influential, buyers. The best way to mitigate the inevitable is to be part of it, rather than fight against it. That’s why Intel has invested in Mirantis and OpenStack.
The underlying message being endorsed so heavily by the actions of Amazon, Google, Cisco, IBM, HP, and now Intel, is that enterprise computing is outmoded, whereas cloud computing is new-fangled.
New-fangled doesn’t equate to quirky, geeky, niche activities. It means current, modern and up-to-date. Cloud computing is pervasive. It is tantamount to being omnipresent in our daily lives. Computing in the cloud is so popular that people don’t even realise they’re using it. They don’t even take it for granted. What is taken for granted, are the services it enables.
What companies like Intel don’t take for granted is the status quo. If you are a provider of communications technology and/or services, you can do worse than take note of Intel’s example. If you don’t, what you can take for granted is that you will run into problems. You don’t want to leave it too late to find a solution to those problems.
Cloud communications, like cloud computing, is not a problem, it is a solution.
PS; if you’re looking for the light switch, it’s over here: http://cloud.aculab.com/