In April Intel acquired McAfee – the “Avis” of the anti-virus world to Symantec’s “Hertz” – for $7.7 billion dollars. The general response in the IT community was “WTF?”
Now, Intel may have done it again by announcing an “Open Data Center Alliance” (ODCA) that’s all about the cloud…without any support from the cloud vendor community.
“Vendors will not be members,” said Alliance steering committee member Mario Muller.
Intel’s ODCA has some laudable goals, including “federation” of cloud technology through common standard and the avoidance of vendor lock-in. It also advocates automatic and intelligent scaling of elastic resources – akin to the “elastic architecture” we advocate on this blog.
However, without any technology or cloud services to back it up, the ODCA initiative comes across as a half-hearted “Intel Inside 2.0″ – maybe even the beginning of the end of a brand that rose with the PC-based datacenter and may fall with the cloud.
According to a recent TheRegister article, Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel’s data center group indicated that Amazon and other large cloud outfits have been asked to join ODCA, and he admitted that “there’s absolutely no way we can get to where we get where we want to be without [the big-name cloud companies].”
So how far has Intel fallen that they can announce a party promising $50 billion of captive IT spending door prizes and get stiffed by every major cloud vendor? Maybe it was the guest list, but I don’t think so this time. For the ODCA to succeed, Intel needs a strategic partner or two and they need them quickly.