Intel Has More Cloud Game Than You Think

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 05, 2016

When asked to rattle off the names of some of the leading cloud computing companies, would you name Intel to the list? Most people wouldn't, but the company is making a number of important moves in the cloud space. For example, Mirantis, Intel and Google are in partnership to work with the OpenStack community to package OpenStack into Docker containers to be managed by Kubernetes. "Combined open source leadership of Intel and Mirantis will be instrumental in bridging the OpenStack and Kubernetes communities," said Intel VP & GM, Software Defined Infrastructure Group, Jonathan Donaldson.

Meanwhile, Intel's CIAO Project (Cloud Integrated Advanced Orchestrator) is described in a Register article as what might result if OpenStack were redone from scratch. Here is what CIAO is all about.

CIAO has been expanding on GitHub for a few months now. Linux engineer Arjan van de Ven told The Register that "it's an attempt to unify what are usually either-or streams in the world of OpenStack: orchestration managing virtual machines on the one hand, versus orchestration of containers on the other."

According to The Register:

Project Ciao itself is a pretty straightforward architecture, with three primary components:

  • Controller – responsible for tenant workload policy;
  • Scheduler – which implements a push/pull scheduling algorithm managed by the controller. The controller sends an instance to the scheduler, and the scheduler finds the “first fit” among cluster compute nodes requesting work; and
  • Launcher – which abstracts the launch details for the workloads, whether they're containers, VMs or bare metal; and provides per-node stats to the scheduler, and per-instance stats to the scheduler and controller.

There's also a set of networking components that creates a separate Layer 2 network for each tenant; a command line interface; and a Web interface."

 A follow-up story from InfoWorld adds:

"CIAO also leverages Intel's recent security work. The compute nodes run atop Intel Clear Linux, devised to take advantage of hardware-level security features in Intel processors.

Clear Linux provides a higher level of isolation and optimization, especially in the multitenancy scenarios Intel imagines as common use cases for CIAO. But all this comes at the cost of being wedded to current and future generations of Intel processors."

 And it's here that we may discern Intel's interest in CIAO--it may feature tie-ins to Intel's core processor business.

In any case, both in the OpenStack community and in tandem with it, Intel is making some new moves in the cloud--not the space that we typically associate with the company.