Saturday 9 August 2008

The Cloud looks to be kewl ...

There have been some excellent posts on the forthcoming Coud initiatives by Microsoft and others:
David Overton gives an excellent explanation of the ins and outs of Microsoft's vision for Software plus Services (S+S).

Vlad's post is his initial reaction to the announcements, with his followup posted in David Overton's comments for the above post.

David Schrag does an awesome job of speaking to the business aspects and direction of an I.T firm. While not necessarily S+S focused, the article is great for a business owner to work on their own vision of their firm.

For us, the move to the Cloud for many products and services we have come to take for granted only seems natural.

We signed the SPLA because we perceive a need for providing Cloud based services to our smaller clients.

Our post on Terminal Services RemoteApps should really help to clarify where the Cloud will fit in. Cloud based service providers that utilize RemoteApps have a killer app in their hands. No need for dedicated TS desktops, just email an RDP or MSI file to the new user and away they go.

Perhaps something like AuthAnvil to provide some additional security for their services.

Our clients do not need a completely decked out server/client infrastructure to accomplish one's daily business needs anymore ... at least that is where things are going.

We do have a few clients with very specialized Line of Business Applications that may not fall into the need for the Cloud yet, but it won't be long before those LoB vendors may be offering Cloud based services.

What does this mean for us?

It means that we will still need to implement some soft of client/server setup. At this point, the robustness of that setup may take a number of steps back as the only real local services being served will be file, print, DNS, DHCP, and a few other oddball server services.

But, our management of those systems will definitely not be on par with what they are today.

So, that means that we need to take stock of how the vendors we work with are looking to implement their Cloud S+S and find a place to fit in.

For some, the changes may be sad or disheartening news ... for us, it presents a whole new series of challenges and adventures!

There will always be a way to provide products and services for a fee to earn a living for us and our employees. The way to discover them is to have a good ear with the vendors, other service providers, and your employees.

If we need to reinvent ourselves, then so be it.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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