It’s about Usage Models—Not Technology

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Billy Cox is a Director of Cloud Software Strategy with Intel’s Data Center Group. Since joining Intel in 2007, Billy – who has 30+ years of industry experience – has been leading the cloud strategy efforts for the Intel Software and Services Group.

Billy Cox IntelBILLY COX
Intel

This week, the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) unveiled eight cloud usage models. This is a significant step forward in the efforts to drive secure cloud services that are open and interoperable. Based on the number of companies involved and the magnitude of their IT spend, these usage models are bound to be a catalyst for the development of cloud solutions.

Intel has supported the ODCA and serves as the technical adviser to the organization, which now has a membership of more than 280 global IT leaders. But, because the ODCA is a fully independent organization, they developed these usage models fully of their own efforts and within their own organization. This is my first look at these usage models.

Now that I’ve reviewed the usage models, I’m encouraged by what I see. As a technology company, we would probably like to see more things that “speak to our technology.” But, that is just not how IT users think (obviously). Instead, they have documented the challenges they face and in the terms that they are familiar with. So, as technologists, we get the pleasure of translating these usage models into the technical solutions required to address these challenges. From my view, it is that very translation that is the value we (the vendors) are expected (or even demanded) to bring.

The ODCA’s approach to its work is very much in line with the approach taken by the Intel Cloud Builders program. We firmly believe that to deliver the solutions that will make cloud services viable for enterprise IT organizations, we need to begin not with technology but with usage models. Usage models drive the development of solutions.

The Cloud Builders Program began by gathering input from our end-user data center customers, and then developed a series of usage models focused on trust, unified networking and power efficiency. Those usage models, in turn, are guiding the development of solutions with a lot of help from the software and hardware ecosystems.

Together with the ecosystems, we can take these documents and look for ways to deliver the innovations that will bring the usage models to life in the real world. The solutions that stem from these efforts will be evolutionary in some cases and new, if not revolutionary, in other cases.

This week, the ODCA gave us additional guidance in the form of eight new cloud usage models. I look forward to studying these models in depth and innovating with our ecosystem partners to really bring these usage models to life.

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