Skip to content

Azure CTO Talks Confidential Computing and Confidential AI | Intel Technology

Play Video

How will computing soon be more secure?

In this InTechnology video, Camille talks with Mark Russinovich, Technical Fellow and CTO of Microsoft Azure, and Anil Rao, VP and GM of Systems Architecture and Engineering in the Office of the CTO at Intel. They get into the benefits and uses of confidential computing, as well as how to balance confidential AI and the democratization of AI.

Confidential Computing Today, Just Computing Tomorrow

Mark and Anil define confidential computing as using hardware to establish secure enclaves for protecting code and data in use, while also verifying container contents. Applicable to routine to advanced workloads like large AI models, confidential computing safeguards IP, and data. As tasks shift from cloud to edge with hybrid AI, added security layers are provided to less physically secure edge locations via SaaS like Intel® Trust Authority, which simplifies attestation reports, exemplified in its usage with Microsoft Azure. The duo also explores other merits of confidential computing, including its role in data sovereignty and code transparency.

Balancing Democratization of AI with Confidential AI

Confidential computing sets the stage for confidential AI, which Anil describes as any model operating within an encrypted, trusted environment. Concurrently, the AI democratization trend is making both large-scale infrastructure and models increasingly accessible. Mark highlights open-source offerings like GPT4, OpenAI, and Llama 2 from Microsoft. With AI’s emergent nature, there’s a growing imperative for responsible guidelines, such as safety measures and bias reduction, without curbing innovation.

Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Technical Fellow and CTO of Microsoft Azure

Mark Russinovich confidential computing Intel Trust Authority confidential AI

Since 2014, Mark Russinovich has served as the CTO of Microsoft Azure and has been a Technical Fellow at Microsoft since 2006. Before Microsoft, he co-founded Winternals Software, worked as a Research Staff Member at IBM, and was a software developer. He earned a Ph.D. and Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and a Master’s in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer. Mark is also the author of the sci-fi novels Zero Day, Trojan Horse, and Rogue Code.

Anil Rao, VP & GM, Systems Architecture and Engineering, Office of the CTO, Intel

Anil Rao confidential computing Intel Trust Authority confidential AI

Anil Rao has been the Vice President and General Manager of Systems Architecture and Engineering at Intel’s CTO Office since 2016. He co-founded SeaMicro in 2007, and after its 2012 acquisition by AMD, was the VP of products in AMD’s Data Center Group for three years. Before Intel, he advised Qualcomm’s CTO Office. Anil’s education includes a master’s degree in computer science from Arizona State University, an MBA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical and communications engineering from Bangalore University. He’s also co-authored OIF specifications and holds multiple patents in networking and data center tech.


Check it out. For more information, previous podcasts, and full versions, visit our homepage.

To read more about cybersecurity topics, visit our blog.

#confidentialcomputing #confidentialAI #IntelTrustAuthority

The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel Corporation.


If you are interested in emerging threats, new technologies, or best tips and practices in cybersecurity, please follow the InTechnology podcast on your favorite podcast platforms: Apple Podcast and Spotify.

Follow our hosts Tom Garrison @tommgarrison and Camille @morhardt.

Learn more about Intel Cybersecurity and Intel Compute Life Cycle (CLA).