Cloud Computing represents the biggest shift in computing in the last 15-years. It’s as fundamental as the move from client-server computing to web-centric computing, and in many ways more so. Cloud computing is changing business models in that it now gives people the ability to efficiently allocate computing power on demand, in a true utility model. It changes the very landscape of the way companies use IT resources.
By the end of 2012, cloud spending will triple to $42-billion. Already, the money spent on cloud computing is growing at over five times the rate of traditional, on-premise IT. Cloud adopters are enjoying lower costs and greater ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
But despite these trends, companies won’t switch to cloud models overnight. Rather, they’ll migrate layers of their IT infrastructure over time. Between today’s plethora of enterprise data centers and tomorrow’s world of ubiquitous computing is a middle ground of hybrid clouds, opportunistic deployment, and the mixing of business systems with consumer applications.
“What we provide is the infrastructure layer, so traditionally companies that had workstations with a server in the backroom at their office are now able to allow us to host that infrastructure in a virtual environment so businesses aren’t tied to real hardware ownership,” says Mike Guigli, CEO of Massachusetts-based CloudConnect. “We saw this as an enormous demand in every business environment. Companies had to invest a lot of time and money into IT, and what cloud computing has brought to the table are huge advantages, both from a time perspective, an efficiency perspective and a monetary perspective. One big advantage to our clients is that cloud-based environments cut out the leasing of devices, and gives our clients, for the most part, an office environment, which is extracted from the underlying hardware at our facilities.”
Guigli’s CloudConnect service is essentially a virtual desktop and server cloud designed for small business. CloudConnect replaces traditional PCs with hosted virtual desktops, and is designed to perform and feel exactly like a personal computer. With a single login, users gain access to their own virtual desktop from anywhere using any device. The platform requires no additional training, no hardware purchase, and no data conversion.
“We’ve been able to leverage a fortune 500 enterprise IT architecture, and deliver an outsource subscription model to small and medium size business,” says Guigli. “The big enabler to that has been the ever evolving internet infrastructure and our ability to deploy a multi-desktop service over the internet, which is our specialty. Our clients start with specific departments in their organization. As they become comfortable with the power and value of virtualization, we begin to see company-wide architecture changes with our clients.”
CloudConnect desktops are hosted in a secure datacenter, and can be networked together based on a company’s needs. Employees can gain access to the platform from anywhere using a computer's web browser or the CloudConnect Desktop Receiver. CloudConnect’s proprietary Desktop Receiver is a small hardware device that simply links the virtual desktop with a workstation; connecting the keyboard, monitor, mouse, and USB devices to the Cloud. “Our customers can gain instant flexibility and security of hosted cloud computing while keeping their existing server and legacy applications,” says Guigli. “The most important solution take-away our customer’s experience is the fact that they will never have to purchase another PC or server again.”
The world has only begun to scratch the surface of what the cloud can do, because cloud computing will forever change how people perceive technology. Clouds change the way enterprise IT is planned. It changes how startups launch and grow their business. It alters the tools and methods with which developers build applications. And the cloud continues to demand new hardware and software platforms, both for enterprises and for the companies delivering cloud computing services.
“Our company is constantly changing. When we started 2010, we were still in testing phase. These architectures we design put a lot of demands on our company, particularly the type of cloud service we provide as opposed to traditional cloud services,” says Guigli. “We are actually just starting to replace the desktop in our clients’ environments, and this has taken us a good 18-months to really start migrating our clients to a full-service virtual environment with complete access to all of their applications.”
A lot of IT partners have been lining up as potential resellers for CloudConnect. The company’s clients are beginning to see real value in how CloudConnect can streamline costs, drastically increased up-time and reliability, provide more sophisticated data security and foster the ability to use mobile devices like tablets and smartphones over a company network.
The future is mighty bright for those adopting the Cloud. The next big phase of virtual computing will have to do with a broader scope of wireless capabilities. “Our customers are relying on ever-evolving internet technology, and they’re starting to rely heavily on 4G mobile broadband, which is a lot more reliable and which is where we think the future of a lot of enterprise networks are going. Additionally, we plan to invest more in new virtualization technologies. Essentially where we’re trying to go is an online app store, where users can sign up for our service, decide what applications they need, checkout and instantly sign-on to a virtual desktop that provides all of their application needs.”
For more information, please visit: www.cloudconnect.net
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