Started in 2009, Intel's internal cloud strategy has come a long way, helping it to save around $9 million on the IT spends. From mere 12 per cent virtualized environment back in 2009, Intel is now aiming at 75 per cent virtualized environment by 2012
MUMBAI, INDIA: Being a computing innovation company, Intel has one of the largest internal IT infrastructure spread across its organization and facilities globally.
In addition to its 82,500 employes, including 6,300 IT employees, the company has 91 data centres, 75,000 servers spread over 4,58,000 square feet area, more than 1,05,000 computing devices and over 14,000 hand held devices, of which 90 per cent is employee owned.
Also Read: Cloud computing to be teenaged in 2012
With increasing number of headcounts and ever growing demand for IT and computing resources, Intel had no other choice but to consolidate its internal IT requirements that would help addressing annual IT budgets as well as overall operational costs.
It was back in 2009 that Intel took a very significant step of moving towards cloud computing and reap its benefits in coming years. “In 2009, we started to work on cloud strategy and initiated the use of public cloud for non-core business needs such as e-mail applications through software-as-a-service model,” said Kimberly S Stevenson, Intel Corporation's vice president - IT and general manager - IT Global Operations and Services.
While, Intel used public cloud for non-core business needs, it framed an internal cloud strategy, also know as private cloud. Under the acronym DOMES (Design, Office, Manufacturing, Enterprise, Services), which stands for various organizational departments and functions, Intel slowly started to deploy virtualization within these units.
During the first year, Intel virtualized around 12 per cent environment within the organization with the focus on federated clouds. By 2011, the company virtualized over 62 per cent of its environment that led to semi-automated server provisioning and resource allocations based the on-demand self servicing model.
“Our aim is 75 per cent virtualization by 2012, which will allow fully automated server provisioning and resource allocations along with 80 per cent effective asset utilization rate with zero business impact,” Stevenson opined.
Though working on federated cloud throws key challenges such as security and business model, Stevenson stressed on the business benefits it offered to Intel. “It helped in improving the velocity and availability of IT services, provisioning servers in short time, flexible configurations, secured infrastructure and saving cost to the business.”
Intel claimed that it saved net $9 million through internal cloud efforts. According to Stevenson, during 2008, Intel allocated about 3.8 per cent of its total revenues on IT spends. However, due to the cloud strategy they were able to bring it down to 2.5- 3 per cent in recent years.
Intel's internal cloud profile include over 40 per cent for production work load, 22 per cent for human resource, finance and legal, 13 per cent for enterprise resource planning, five per cent for engineering and 19 per cent for sales and marketing.
For Stevenson, the cloud journey was a tough one as she and her team had to make business case of the proposed cloud strategy, present it to the board and get it approved. However, moving forward to future she said, “We learned many things on our cloud journey – right from cloud technology, leadership support, IT business partnership to short term priorities.”