Intel has announced several new elements of its Cloud 2015 vision aimed at making cloud-based computing more interoperable, secure and simplified through alliances with big-spending organisations and software and hardware vendors.

The processor giant helped announce the launch of the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA), a coalition of large enterprises which will lay out future hardware and software requirements for open and interoperable datacentre solutions.

It also unveiled its own Intel Cloud Builders programme, featuring 20 of the world's leading hardware and software developers who will commit resources to spur innovation and make clouds easier to deploy, use and share.

The ODCA consists of 70 leading businesses that together spend more than $50 billion on IT each year and who already have cloud projects under way.

Committee members include BMW, China Life, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Shell, Terremark, USB and the National Australia Bank, and, according to BMW VP of IT infrastructure Mario Mueller, represents "the first global consortium of IT managers working together to define datacentre standards for today and tomorrow".

Intel, which helped bring the organisations together originally, will act as Technical Advisor to the ODCA's steering committee, while five workgroups will report to a technical committee on infrastructure, management, security, services and government & ecosystem.

The Alliance released it's version 0.5 roadmap today, with a series of public and member-only webcasts to follow before its Roadmap 1.0 is unveiled in the first quarter of 2011.

"Intel's history in driving IT organisations makes them a perfect fit for this role," said Mueller.

Boyd Davis, VP of Intel's Architecture Group, said that Intel would be guided and challenged by the Alliance's programmes.

"It's up to us to meet the requirements of the ODCA roadmap," he told a press conference in Geneva.

"Intel was asked by the organisations involved to bring its expertise and vision. We helped to germinate it but our primary role is in making the mechanics of an organisation like this effective. We're not a voting member and we have no control over the output of the group.

"Their roadmap could challenge us considerably, and their agenda could cover things that are not particularly relevant to Intel's product portfolio. We're proud of our role and it reflects our heritage, but the ODCA is a very open-minded group and our role doesn't give us any particular advantage.

"We will look at the ODCA requirements and continue to drive Cloud Builders to meet those requirements."

Davis announced a significant expansion of the Cloud Builders programme, with the release of the first 20 reference architectures by the community of technology providers which includes Cisco, Citrix, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, NetApp and VMware.

"Our goal is to coalesce the definitions of the cloud. It's a convenient time that the Alliance came together and reflects a step forward in getting clarity for where the cloud is headed.

"The Cloud Builders programme is an attempt to give customers who are taking advantage of Intel technology a way to take action at a higher level. For years we've defined the best PC and the best servers to take advantage of our ingredient.

"The Cloud Builders programme just sees us moving up in scope - we're now an ingredient in a datacentre solution. Customers can now confidently deploy the architectures through a variety of vendors."