This week at VMworld, there was a lot of different shifts in the cloud industry felt. From security to functionality, the cloud started to inch a bit forward. One area in particular got the VMworld bump, mobility. According to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, we’ve moved past the mainframe to client-server transition and are now transitioning into a mobile-cloud stage. Wait, what? Doesn’t VMware focus on server virtualization solutions? Why does he care about the transition to mobile clouds?
You’ve probably put together part of the math already. Part of this shift has come from the adoption of what we call Mobile Cloud Computing, or MCC. This refers to the digital trinity of mobile computing, cloud computing and ofcourse wireless networks to deliver anywhere, anytime computing across mobile devices. But did you know there are actually 4 kinds of models involved with MCC?
The first is distant immobile clouds, which are associated with the big cloud guys including VMware platforms and folks like Amazon and their EC2. These applications are hosted on one of these giant clouds and relayed out to the mobile device.
The second model is proximate immobile computing entities which are made up of other smaller clouds (cloudlets or surrogates). Again, offsite, pushing information to the mobile device.
Third we have proximate mobile computing entities which make up the more interesting (for consumers anyway) group which includes all the fun gadgets like smartphones, tablets, handheld devices like scanners, and even smart devices like Google Glass.
The last model is really a hybrid of 2 or more of these models combined.
The beauty of this model is that just like in traditional cloud, applications sit in the cloud and are pushed through just about any mobile browser, make it accessible across different devices. Instead of creating applications per platform (which we have seen can severely hurt a mobile platform if applications aren’t available as in the case of BlackBerry and Windows 8), applications can be tailored per browser, making it easier to support multiple device platforms like iOS and Android.
The key here is that by creating an environment that allows applications to be designed for use through browsers, not only does it make it easier to manage mobile device methodology such as BYOD and enterprise connectivity, but it also aids in streamlining the break between security and performance. If you remove the applications from the OS layer, you can now secure the device (through encryption, endpoint, DLP, and SSL etc) without affecting the applications. It also makes it easier to onboard user devices through a more universal policy for all devices versus assigning them via OS.
Mobile device adoption, especially Mobile-Cloud is going to cause a huge shift in the way technology is used in the workforce and in our every day lives. Unfortunately, in order to successfully manage this shift, there is a learning curve involved. The best way is to start educating decision makers on which solutions are available and ensure the right support mechanisms are in place to deliver these new business models.
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