Windows Server Migration
Migrating to Private Cloud - Part 3 Broad Network Access
What exactly does the NIST definition of cloud computing mean when it refers to 'Broad Network Access?'
In our first post of this series we talked about how one of the things we’ll be reading about throughout the coming year is the migration to private cloud. We established that a private cloud is not necessarily located somewhere other than your own premises. In fact, a private cloud server may be located on your own premises, in a co-location facility or at a “cloud provider." But wherever it is, it is dedicated solely to your organization.
To distinguish a private cloud server from what is traditionally thought of as a server, Microsoft has turned to the most well-established standard, the definition of cloud computing as published by NIST, the National Institute for Standards & Technology. We strongly recommend that you review the brief NIST Definition of Cloud Computing. We concluded that Microsoft has embraced the five essential characteristics of cloud computing from the NIST definition to help define what a private cloud truly is:
• On-demand self-service
• Broad network access
• Resource pooling
• Rapid elasticity
• Measured service
Today we will carefully examine the second of the five essential characteristics as defined by NIST:
Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
Perhaps the experts at NIST were anticipating Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), but the mandate here was that the network would provide extreme agility, allowing users to gain access wherever they were over whatever media were available to any application from any network at any time using any reasonably-equipped device.
This speaks to far more than just the form factor of the client device being used. It is focused even more on the cloud-based network that is supporting the users and its ability to easily deliver applications, data, voice, video and more to a broad selection of client devices connecting over wireless and other broadband accesses.
Also worth noting is the use of the phrase “standard mechanisms.” One of the concerns the NIST people share with everyone else involved is the need for strict adherence to standards. When so many services from so many sources become a part of the cloud fabric, outliers will only provide added complexity and so will ultimately be shunned. They also mention thin or thick clients, suggesting that they also anticipate that much of cloud computing will ultimately be accomplished using virtualized desktop technologies that will allow significantly more computing power to service users in the field using much simpler client devices.