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Intel targets the cloud market, unveils McAfee cloud suite

Intel has opened more cards on its $7.7 billion acquisition of anti-virus vendor McAfee.

The two firms on Tuesday announced a new business line that seeks to address the biggest concern the emerging cloud architecture — security.

Under the cloud architecture, a company moves most of its storage and compute power to a distant location accesses it on demand through the Internet. While the model offers mouth-watering efficiency gains and cost savings, companies have long been worried whether their competitors or miscreants would hack into their data, either in transit or in storage at the Cloud-provider.

Security, in fact, has been often described as the ‘Achilles heel’ of the Cloud model and a successful assurance of security would not only be a big market for Intel-McAfee, but also a boost for the Cloud model as well. Intel, which announced the McAfee acquisition a few months ago, had hinted that it eyed the infrastructure market and that McAfee would fit into its plans.

The latest move confirms that Intel is serious about the Cloud and datacentre market — already the object of covetuous glances from its partners such as HP and Dell.

For now, however, McAfee is pushing its security ‘modules’ very hard.

“Once you move data or applications to the Cloud, you essentially lose most – if not all – of your security visibility, which most organizations find unacceptable,” said Marc Olesen, senior vice president and general manager, Content and Cloud Security at McAfee.

“By securing the data and traffic before it travels to or through the Cloud, we help businesses extend their security practices and policies into the Cloud,” he added.

Besides “reputation and intent-based protection” of data in transit, the solution would also extend to the mobile platform as well as have modules that enable companies to structure access to their data on the cloud in a layered way.

Cloud has already made competitors out of former business partners — by pitting hardware vendors like HP and Dell on the one end against software vendors like Microsoft and services vendors like IBM on the other. With Intel also seemingly serious about the market, the market will get extended further towards the hardware side by involving chip-makers, in addition to box makers like Dell.

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