Whenever I visit London I always enjoy listening to British phraseology. My favorite expression from my most recent trip is “mind the gap” – not just because I find it a more lyrical way of saying “watch your step” but because it actually underscores how the train infrastructure, which dates back to the 1860s in some places, doesn’t match well with newer technology. To get the “gap” in control, London has a Tube Upgrade Plan to refurbish its infrastructure to more efficiently handle growing numbers of riders and to prepare for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Just as London is upgrading its infrastructure, many organizations are looking to Cloud Computing as an approach that allows IT to match new technology with older infrastructure. The findings of AMD’s global cloud computing study clearly show that the cloud is rapidly maturing, gaining widespread adoption with customers willing to store significant amounts of data in the cloud. For example:
However, there are still some areas where we need to “mind the gap.” The applications primarily hosted in the cloud (email, finance/accounting, web serving) all have different computing demands that require a unique mix of performance, power and cost efficiency in the data center. With this in mind, it can be perceived that the IT industry is currently approaching a slippery slope in the way we think and talk about cloud computing. There is a risk in framing certain cloud technology as universally applicable to all clouds, but the reality is that cloud IT is just as dynamic and ever-changing as traditional IT. AMD takes a workload-based approach and coordinates closely with OEM partners, software vendors, and customers to deliver flexible solutions based on their IT needs in the cloud.
At AMD we are closing the gap in cloud computing by addressing both sides of the cloud – with power efficient AMD OpteronTM processor technology that delivers more cores to feed steady streams of transactions to growing numbers of mobile client devices. On the client front we are marrying CPU and GPU cores via our AMD Fusion APU technology to provide the underpinnings for an emerging world of mobile and thin clients that can deliver a superior visual experience with minimal power consumption. And if you look forward over the second half of 2011 you find us delivering redesigned core architecture via our “Bulldozer” technology, the next generation of APU technology, and graphic processors that can be integrated into cloud clusters.
With that in mind, are we experiencing the rise of cloud computing? Absolutely. But are all clouds creating equally? Absolutely not. It is imperative to approach cloud computing not as a solution that is an “easy fix” to on-premise servers and software, but rather a new model with its own challenges and opportunities that we must address with better education and tailored solutions for customers navigating their foray into the cloud.
Margaret Lewis (@margaretjlewis) is a Product Marketing Director at AMD. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.