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The Ultimate Branding Coup? - Intel Inside Goes Cloud

Jan 15 2014, 4:31am CST | by

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The Ultimate Branding Coup? - Intel Inside Goes Cloud
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The Ultimate Branding Coup? - Intel Inside Goes Cloud

One of the awesome things about cloud computing, especially when it comes to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), is that customers don’t have to even think what sort of hardware is used to run their virtual machines. The rise of the cloud has mirrored the rise of low cost, commodity hardware and the move away from IT caring about what brands sit in their data centers. You’d have thought then that cloud would pose a real threat to vendors whose widgets tend to be differentiated by brand – in a nameless, faceless world, what do they have left to go with?

Which is why it is so perplexing from the outside, an an undeniable coup from the inside, that Intel has managed to take its “title="Intel">Intel inside” brand and make it relevant in the cloud world. Even more perplexing when we first saw it, late last year, was that it wasn’t a second rate underdog using the branding – that would have made sense as a kind of a point of differentiation against the incumbent. But no, it was Amazon Web Services (AWS) who went public at Intel’s developer event last year saying that AWS instances that exclusively use Intel’s Xeon processors would be displaying the “Intel Inside” brand. So much for commodity huh?

Well that coup has been extended with the news today that the “Powered by Intel Cloud Technology” branding has been extended beyond AWS and through to 16 cloud service providers across the globe. These cloud service providers will all be adopting the moniker. And not just any vendors, in total these guys generate over $3B in cloud revenue and include names such as Rackspace, Savvis and Korea Telecom. Essentially the program is a marketing one, but Intel was quick to add that it includes resources so that cloud users can chose the best sort of instance for their particular workloads.

But it’s not just a shallow marketing campaign with no substance – Intel would seem to be able to justify the performance differential that it promises by using Intel silicon in cloud applications – AWS, Rackspace, Expedient and Virtustream were all used as examples in the briefing materials as vendors whose own customers have proven the performance differential that Intel Inside brings.

Of course there is always the argument that despite low cost and low performance chips being beaten on the metaphorical racetrack by Intel, their economics mean that for any given workload you can just throw extreme amounts of low performance processing at a problem and achieve the same result both in time and cost. But that argument fails to take into account a number of factors – the extra costs of high quantity, low quality processing, the fact that market demand would seem to be pushing things in the “higher performance” direction and the core fact that for all the talk of commoditization, IT still likes its trusted vendors.

Whatever way you look at it this is a real coup for Intel and I suspect that the company is over the moon about what it is rolling out today. Someone in the marketing department at Intel HQ in Portland deserves a hefty bonus. Stat.

Source: Forbes

 

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