Desktop Cloud Computing for the Cloud Generation is Now On-Demand
Early in my career at Microsoft we all received a book called, "Business @ the Speed of Thought" by Bill Gates. In it he described many of the factors and business decisions that made Microsoft what it has become. One of the chapters was titled: “Adopt the Web Lifestyle.” In this chapter, I remember reading an excerpt that, at the time, seemed very far reaching and yet describes our world today.
"Within a decade most Americans and many other people around the world will be living the Web lifestyle. It will be a reflex for these people to turn to the Web to get news, find entertainment, and to communicate. It will be just as natural as picking up the phone to talk to somebody or ordering something from a catalog is today. The Web will be used to pay your bills, manage your finances, communicate with your doctor, and conduct any business. Just as naturally, you'll carry one or more small devices using a wireless connection to stay constantly in touch and conduct electronic business wherever you are."
I think we can all agree that Bill Gate's vision of the web lifestyle was right on. Quite simply, Bill's description of the web lifestyle is how many of us live today. I also believe that he and many other visionaries have helped set the stage for the next generation, which is even more exciting than the web lifestyle. This next generation user is growing up in a world being defined as the “Cloud Generation”.
The Cloud Generation has demands.
My children are a part of this growing cloud generation where they don’t need to care where their data is stored as long as it can be accessed at any time. Everything is now on-demand. This new cloud generation persona dictates when they want it, where they want it, on whatever device they choose, and it is always where they left it. Dropbox, iCloud, and Amazon are part of this daily computing experience. The only issue is that most of the current cloud services used by people have been centered on data storage and data connectivity. What about data creation?
Unfortunately, we still live in a world where many data creation devices are stagnant legacy physical computing devices like laptops and desktops.
Meanwhile, we also have this convergence of a new breed of cloud-connected devices like tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. To get what they want out of the web today most people have both old and new devices, but I believe that this comes with a price. The price we pay for this is that we have data in multiple locations, both local and in the cloud. Where is central data management at the personal level? Why is this still acceptable? While there are apps that help with this, they are not being developed at the rate people are acquiring new devices.
I am frustrated every time I look for a file and can’t find it because it was created and stored on another device.
Convergence will force us to evolve.
I know that this cloud means something different to everyone, and yet that is the best part about it. Clouds are formed by convergent winds rising from a low pressure area.
Convergence, converge, converging is defined as
1- (of several people or things) Come together from different directions so as eventually to meet
2- Come from different directions and meet at (a place)
Infrastructure clouds, application clouds, and data clouds are either already here or being developed as I write this. In the past, the convergence of users, devices and infrastructure has been a delicate balancing act. Today, the cloud allows us to get all the benefits without the balancing act. This means that in a cloud, users get to dictate what they want. While in the case of a corporation, they also get central data management. It will still take time and careful steps to ensure that this happens correctly. So to sum it up, in the immortal words of "Dr. Leo Marvin," we need to take “baby steps” to make sure the evolution and access to, and interaction with, the cloud is correct. I cloud, I clouded, I am clouding, I am a clouder…
I believe the first step in this evolution requires defining a new way to offer end user computing in the most flexible and simple way. Yes, virtualization technologies will shape the underlying foundations here, but a different perspective is needed to make this happen. We have always taken proven technologies and evolved them to meet the needs, not the demands, of the day.
The technology is here to make this a reality. But in order for it to work as the primary computing for the cloud generation, it first must adhere to some fundamental elements.
User Experience: The cloud generation demands performance and quick response. A cloud desktop must have the ability to outperform a physical desktop in order to get used; otherwise it will turn into a supplemental desktop at best. Applications of all types (doesn’t matter which) should enable increased productivity.
Application Flexibility: Applications must still work in the way that users are familiar with, regardless of whether they are in the cloud or not. The cloud should enhance the way a user interacts with the applications, making users more productive.
Device Variety: The cloud generation places very high demands on the many types of devices in the marketplace, but each user dictates what device they want to use and where they want to use it.
On-Demand Availability: The cloud generation will not accept any downtime. The end user dictates when they use the computing resources, regardless of the time of day.
Offline Compute: A user may choose online or offline options for computing. This allows users to compute even when there is no connection to the cloud. When an offline connection is being restored, a cloud desktop will automatically synchronize the user’s data in the cloud so the user always has the latest up-to-date changes. The user will never have to worry about multiple copies of data again.
I realize that these are the first of many fundamental elements that will shape, define, and enable how we use and manage the cloud. The cloud is a very exciting place to be. It’s like the first time I made my first web service calls across the web. Sure it was SOAP (simple object access protocol), but who cares because it was so cool to interact with an application across the web. Today I fear that those who don't embrace these cloud concepts, or those who want to hold onto old methods for computing, will find themselves having it defined for them. That, or they can hang with those who embraced the mainframe lifestyle and now live on some secret government installation off the grid.
I work at V3 Systems which is in the business of providing Desktop Cloud Computing and buddy, business is a-booming. The wave of the cloud generation has their demands and we at V3 are up to the task of providing the first wave of desktop cloud infrastructure which enables desktop cloud computing. Simply, here at V3 we believe that in order for this to begin to work, we must guarantee that users will have the correct user experience, device flexibility, on-demand availability, with offline capabilities (if the user chooses).
The guarantees we now deliver will help usher in this wave of cloud computing and the generation of cloud users. Don't believe me? Call us, and we’ll get you a test account so you can experience it for yourself.