Cloud enablement

Cloud Watch: Intel, Oracle Chip In

Chip vendors get their say in this edition of Cloud Watch, as the money, partnerships, and lab pronouncements continue to fly.

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) made a couple of cloudy moves last week. On the big stage, the company has formed the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA), with the five-year mission of boosting interoperability and security of cloud computing, PC Magazine reports.

    Participants include big names like BMW, Deutsche Bank AG , and Lockheed Martin Corp. Intel itself will be a non-voting technical adviser.

  • Separately, Intel CEO Paul Otellini was in Taiwan last week, promoting all sorts of partnerships and government-funding projects. Taipei Times notes that Intel will be giving money to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the National Science Council (NSC), and Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE: CHT). Chunghwa has also joined the ODCA.

    The work with the NSC includes the establishment of a cloud-computing research center at a cost of about $23.5 million during the next three to five years, AFP reports. Really, according to Taipei Times, they'll be doing "emerging connected embedded devices" -- meaning, chip research.

  • You think you're the only one who can build a cloud-computing lab, Intel? IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) also launched one, actually called the Cloud Computing Lab, based in Hursley, UK. It's a place where customers can work with IBM to explore just how to use all this cloud-computing stuff, as Computerworld explains.

  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) bought a roughly 10 percent stake in Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX) on Thursday, making good (sort of) on CEO Larry Ellison's promise to start buying chip companies.

    Mellanox supplied Infiniband chips to Sun Microsystems, and those chips are probably now found in Oracle's Exadata and Exalogic appliances. A closer relationship to Mellanox gives Oracle a view into the roadmap for these interconnect devices.

    Mellanox's valuation kicked upward about 8 percent on Thursday and Friday, to $778.4 million. So, it would take about $1 billion if someone else wanted to sneak in and buy all of Mellanox -- someone upset at Oracle for some reason, as The Register points out.

  • As for what's so great about Infiniband -- International Business Times pulls out a 2007 quote from Derek Granath of the now-defunct Woven Systems, saying cluster computing has needed an interface with lower latency than Ethernet or Fibre Channel. That's what's kept Infiniband around even in an increasingly Ethernet world.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced last week that Ray Ozzie will be leaving as chief software architect. The first of Ozzie's parting shots (his departure is expected to take months) is a blog cautioning Microsoft that the future is based more on clouds than on the PC. CNET has the CliffsNotes version.

    Elsewhere in the cloud:

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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