Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In the Clouds

Travelling from coast to coast in the “clouds” really started to think about knowledge workers in the context of clouds. Fat pipes, adoption of clean processes, etc have lead to pretty predictable user stories for “connected” users working within a cloud – but what about the road warrior (Doctor, Lawyer, Poll Climber, UPS Truck Driver, Sales rep, or CEO)?
Managing always connected users is not a new feat – many solved it back in the day with mainframes and dumb terminals. Pulling the unmanaged PC into the mix of the managed PC is nirvana for many companies. How can you lock down a user while still providing enough flexibility to support them while they are “disconnected”.

Network access from a virtual CAFÉ or even datacard is not a guarantee that the user will have access to backend environments. Issues with VPNs, Authentication, Network Latecny and general access issues can rear their ugly head at the most opportune time (before the demo, big movie presentation, during an exam).
There are many approaches that can be taken such as Hybrid application & desktop virtualization (such as InstallFree) that enables checking applications out. Some ideas to extend the deployment is to leverage virtual clients.

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