Take just a second and realize the medium you’re using to read this article. Is it a laptop? Maybe a tablet? Or, maybe you’re on an airplane with GoGo Inflight Internet reading this from your smartphone.
If you’re an IT person, and you’re reading this from your desk – take a look at around. How many devices do you have which connect into the cloud (Internet) and give you access to your data? The point is that we are now entering the Internet era. We are all vastly interconnected and completely reliant on powerful technologies which keep us all running efficiently.
In fact, the entire end-user and data center “compute” model is evolving. And who’s leading the flagship? Google. Globally, they’re the most utilized mobility operating system. They’ve got hardware, software, APIs, end-points, and everything in between. The really interesting part is how Google is actively re-defining the end-user compute model.
The Chromebook platform aims to decouple the desktop from the user. Their Chrome “browser” basically becomes your “desktop.” With that in mind, your end-point becomes your gateway to the cloud. Instead of traditional operating systems, you now have the opportunity to work with a compute model capable of dynamic content delivery.
The Evolution Away from Desktop toward Mobile
Here’s an important point to understand: The traditional desktop model, as we know it, is going away. Lighter end-points are presenting data and applications through powerful delivery mechanisms.
The cool part is the ecosystem being built around this platform. Both Citrix and VMware are actively developing and deploying technologies capable of living (and thriving) on the Chrome environment. The idea is to deliver applications and data – securely – all while creating an optimal user experience. So how is Google creating this type of next-generation platform? Very creatively.
- Clientless – secure – computing. The future of the compute model is going to be quite different than it is today. Google gets it. They’re creating end-points which act as cloud aggregates for your applications, data and cloud personality. The idea is to deliver very rich content without the need for a client; all while doing so securely. The backend infrastructure can be flexible as well. You can host your apps with Google, or, deploy your own cloud platform with Citrix of VMware – while still having Google at the end-point. Now you present a similar, powerful, user experience regardless of where the user is or what type of device they’re accessing. Which brings is to the next point.
- The device doesn’t really matter. Let’s really abstract the user from the device. The reality is that the device doesn’t matter at all. The modern user really wants their information fast and reliably regardless of what they’re using. Whether it’s a phone, tablet, Chromebook or even a PC – as long as the browser is available, you have cloud access. Here’s another shift in thought that’s happening: is it really just a browser? Google Chrome – abstracted from the physical Chromebook devices – is actually an interactive gateway for cloud data and application processing. You’re not just “browsing” any longer. Now, users are pulling apps, resources, and even directly interacting through hangouts. It’s not so much a browser – as it is a Cloud Operating System which is personalized for your experience.
- Complete cloud delivery. Along the same thought process – the Chrome and Chromebook experience is designed to allow you to delivery everything through the cloud. By using technologies like HTML5, entire desktops and remote applications can be delivered without a client. Are you using Citrix right now? Ever have to deal with that little blue client in the corner tray? Now, imagine being able to launch data center applications directly from a Chrome browser on any machine that’s running it. And, if you need another app or desktop – just open a new tab and the resource is there. Folder redirection, printer mapping, content delivery, and security are all supported in this type of delivery model. Here’s the cool part – this architecture supports legacy applications. Imagine that you have some older apps in your environment. Now, you wrap them up in a Citrix infrastructure and present them through their Storefront portal technology. Then, from the Google device or browser, you’re able to pick up that portal (remotely or on premises) and pull down applications wrapped in HTML5 – still without a client. Organizations of all sizes are now looking at this type of compute and delivery model. With hardware refreshes coming up for many shops – it many cases it makes sense to adopt mobility alongside the industry and the user.
- Empowering the user and enabling the organization. Business and IT have been closely intertwined for a few years now. In fact, organizations are now directly building their business models around the capabilities of IT. With that in mind – the evolution of the end-user is clearly moving towards mobility. Let’s look at three important statistics from the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index:
- By the end of 2014, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2018 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita.
- By 2018, more than half of all traffic from mobile-connected devices (almost 17 exabytes) will be offloaded to the fixed network by means of Wi-Fi devices and femtocells each month.
- By 2018, over half of all devices connected to the mobile network will be “smart” devices.
These sorts of numbers clearly indicate a migration towards mobile computing, fast data access, and dynamic resource delivery. Google is facilitating mobility as the new normal by enabling both the organization and the end-user. They’re presenting powerful technologies which can still be controlled by the organization through security, user, and data policies. All the while – the user is able to utilize mobile technologies which empower them to be more productive and happier with their computing experience. There are direct benefits around adopting mobility as well. Collaboration improvements, enhancing your go-to-market speed, and keeping up with the progression of the industry are all ways a mobile infrastructure can help.
It’s an exciting time to be in the cloud world. Organizations like Google are paving the way for the next-generation end-user experience. Although these changes won’t happen overnight, already large enterprises are actively looking at the Chromebook option for their next big hardware refresh cycle.
As compliance and regulations continue to open up and become cloud-friendly, large enterprises will look to the cloud for more deployment options. Through all of this – IT directors are keeping their end-users (and themselves) in mind. The goal is to ensure a productive and happy end-user. Mobility can become the means for your productive, next-generation end-user and business model.