For many smaller businesses, outsourcing IT to "the cloud" is tempting (read: cheap and easy), but scary (at the mercy of someone else having an outage or getting hacked leaving the company exposed).  Intel is hoping to ease anxiety with a new offering it describes as a "hybrid cloud" solution, specifically targeting nervous small business owners.

In a nutshell, the pay-as-you-go service puts a Lenovo server on site (running on an Intel chip, of course) that is managed and secured remotely by the Intel "cloud" via a managed service provider.  Clients would choose the applications they want to run on that server from the Intel AppUp catalog. Everything is pay-as-you-go (although pricing has not yet been made public) on a monthly basis. Even the server installed on-site is a monthly rental, with no big up front investment. This also makes it highly scalable. Businesses would have the piece of mind knowing their data is still on-site on the local server, while at the same time no longer have the headache of providing on-site IT support to keep it running, install patches, etc.

Intel is offering its hybrid cloud service in only the United States and India for starters. More countries to follow soon.