Intel looks covetously at the cloud computing market for its server processors

The future of large data centers may look very different from the data centers of today. In the future, the data center is expected to be cloud-based and could save companies with large server farms millions of dollars.

Intel is watching the move to cloud computing closely and wants its processors to be at the heart of the cloud computing movement. Intel says that 20 to 25% of its server processors could be dedicated to data centers using cloud computing by 2012.

Intel's Jason Waxman said, "We expect to see, by 2012, a substantial portion of the server market will be running some version of cloud computing. Right now, as much as 14 percent of server purchases are going into some sort of cloud deployment."

Even the largest Fortune 500 companies are expected to begin migrating to cloud computing to grab the massive cost savings that cloud computing can generate. Intel says that cloud computing can save a company 10% in power usage for a large data center equating to a savings of about $6 million in some instances. At the same time software optimization of the same servers could save an additional $20 million.

Intel isn’t alone in coveting the cloud server market though and will have competition from AMD whose server processors are very popular in virtualized applications. Intel is betting on features like its Dynamic Power Node Manager to woo large enterprises to its products for power savings, which equate into big monetary savings for the companies.

Waxman said, "The cloud has promise, but we’re trying to be pragmatic. With small to medium-sized businesses, companies are asking, ‘Do I need lots of infrastructure, or can I do software as service?’ And the enterprise is cautious. They’re thinking that now’s the time to start the evaluation and path to it, as opposed to just jumping in."

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