2015 – The Year of Cloud/Client Computing

Manav Ratan Mital

This is the time of year to pontificate on the year gone by and make predictions for the future. There are lots of trends that are being talked about in this context, those whose time has come and others that are starting to peek through and show promise for the future.

I’d like to talk about one in particular that I believe is going to have significant impact on the industry at large and disrupt the application delivery space in particular, creating the next compute & application model. Cloud/Client Computing.

Seeds were sown in 2014 and I will go out on a limb to say that 2015 will be the year of Cloud/Client Computing.

Cloud and mobile architectures are enabling a new way to design and deliver applications and content that provide faster time to market, a personalized end-user experience, and improved business agility. With rising consumer expectations for online content that can be accessed from a plethora of mobile devices, from anywhere and at any time, companies need to rethink their online strategy or risk being left behind and losing competitive edge.

In this new world where IT departments leverage private and public cloud, and applications are designed ‘mobile first’, based on a cloud/client architecture, we are faced with new and interesting challenges around speed, security and scale.

Legacy application delivery solutions that were designed on a centralized architecture are unable to cope. To speed up applications companies traditionally used CDN services that accelerated content delivery from the datacenter to the edge of the Internet. Now with cloud/client, the bottleneck has shifted- the wireless last mile between the edge and client is now the principal performance bottleneck.

To secure applications, companies used firewall appliances that protected the perimeter of the datacenter where the application ran. With cloud/client architecture, the network perimeter has disappeared and attack surface has increased to include client and third party backend services, which are beyond the scope of the firewall. IT now needs a unified, holistic solution that provides end-to-end view and control.

To scale applications, companies used an ADC (Application Delivery Controller) that functioned as a load balancer and reduced the cost of scaling the application. With cloud/client architecture the backend services run across different clouds and thus, along with the client services, make ADC appliances inefficient.

To address these challenges, an application delivery service itself needs to be based on a cloud/client architecture. Software-Defined Application Delivery (SDAD), an innovative approach we pioneered, is the infrastructure solution for cloud/client computing. It is a single delivery solution that can be used to speed, secure and scale applications.

Gartner clearly agrees with me based on their top 10 strategic technology trends in 2015. What are your thoughts on this, and what are some of the key issues at stake, that we as an industry need to focus on in support of cloud/client computing? Look forward to your comments and dialogue.

Cheers to the year of cloud/client computing!