Choose: Intel Xeon 5500 or Open Cloud Manifesto

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Sounds like a strange question indeed. Do we really want to compare between Apples from Venus and Oranges from Mars? Should we care about Intel’s launch of its ‘Nehalem’ processor for servers – the Xeon 5500 – or should we be much more interested in the recent publication of the Open Cloud Manifesto? When I […]

Sounds like a strange question indeed. Do we really want to compare between Apples from Venus and Oranges from Mars? Should we care about Intel’s launch of its ‘Nehalem’ processor for servers – the Xeon 5500 – or should we be much more interested in the recent publication of the Open Cloud Manifesto? When I probed this dilemma on Twitter and Yammer (a very effective way to do a quick poll), most people would tend to the Open Cloud Manifesto. After all, who is interested in yet another processor series, if computing is now ready to disappear in the cloud and becomes the specialty of just a few suppliers?
Well, not so fast, maybe.
I think we all agree on the fact that the cloud will drastically change the IT landscape as we currently know it. But we are living in the downturn of 2009 and companies want to see quick, proven results with a solid business case. We are definitely getting there with the cloud. But we need more experience. And better scenario’s for migration, integration and security. And we desperately need interoperability between cloud solutions. The fact that we now have a first Open Cloud Manifesto does not solve that issue. Actually, it illustrates that we have a long way to go. To be quite honest, the manifesto is a nice, politically correct document that nobody can really oppose to. But it is very low on substance. And some of the most influential – or aspiring – cloud players (think Microsoft, Google, Amazon) did not sign the manifesto; neither did the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum.
So quite some air around the cloud so far.
I would say Intel’s new processor series are definitely a better way to achieve quick, tangible results. We tested the new processor at an early stage ourselves on some typical server workloads and found very impressive performance improvements (300% and more, even on non-optimised applications) combined with an even more relevant drop in power consumption (35% and more). Add up the enhanced support for virtualisation, and you can do the math yourself.
So maybe Apples from Venus are not so bad after all. And to all you manifesto fans: Venus is the most cloudy planet in the solar system. There is always hope.

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