Through the cloud program, software vendors will test their software on large pools of servers with the goal of coming up with stacks and configurations that customers can replicate in their own data centers.
"We're not going to solve world hunger here, but if we can give you a blueprint, a starting point, then maybe we can reduce that lead time from years to months," he said.
There are only eight partners in the program today -- Citrix Systems, VMware, Parallels, Microsoft, Red Hat, Canonical, Univa UD and the Xen consortium -- but Intel hopes to add more over time. It will release white papers with best practices to help customers build the management systems.
Intel also showed off a hardware mock-up of the "micro server" it announced at the Intel Developer Forum last month. It's based on a reference design that Intel created to show server makers the kind of product they can build with its chips.
The system is based on a Xeon processor, the L3426, which consumes 45 watts of power, although Intel is developing a 30-watt chip that it says it will release in the first quarter next year. Sixteen small server boards each slot vertically into a 5u server rack, along with 16 storage bays that each can accommodate three or four SCSI drives.
It's designed for companies doing horizontal, scale-out computing who want high compute density with minimum power draw. Intel is competing in this area with Via Technologies, whose Nano chips have been used in custom servers built by Dell, and Advanced Micro Devices, whose processors are used in Rackable Systems MicroSlice servers.
Waxman said Intel will submit the reference design to an industry group called the Server System Infrastructure Forum, in the hope that it will be adopted as a standard that server, storage and networking manufacturers will adopt.