Customers do not care much about the technical details of computing. They only wish to receive answers every time and fast. Requested information must be available regardless of the computing device they use. Responses must be secure. There should be no restrictions as to the place from where they communicate. Information must be available for people authorized to make use of what they receive. The sources of information must include information received from people, from sensors or from public web sites. Information must be available to and from ground locations, ships, submarines airplanes and satellites. A user must be able to connect with every commercial enterprise on the Internet.
It is the objective of the cloud architecture of the future to totally separate customer’s computer appliances from any of the technical housekeeping details that currently consume huge amounts of time by customers as well as of support staffs. There is no doubt that a number of firms will operate in this mode within ten years.
The greatest challenge for cloud computing will be its ability to gain access to every application whether it is a legacy or a new application. The future of cloud computing is the hybrid environment where a variety of services are accessible from any computer appliance. The following illustrates the scope of hybrid clouds:
Such arrangement makes it possible to use any application, regardless where or how deployed. Applications would not require separate procedures for gaining access or for obtaining separate security permissions. Everything that is either device specific or location unique remains under control of a Cloud Operating System (COS) that is not visible to the customer.
COS manages the selection of the source of applications, load balancing, back-up of services, user access privileges and the recognition of a customer’s device. All this must be done without a user having to sign into to different servers, logging into to different applications, identifying of different user devices or signing in with different passwords.
What the customer wishes to have is a “personal information assistant” (PIA). Such a device matches a person’s identity. It is configured to adapt to changing levels of training. It understands what are the user’s verbal or analytic skills. It knows where you are at all times. Any security restrictions are reconfigured to fit a user’s current job. At all time every PIA is monitored from several network control centers. From a catalogue of available services the customer finds what they need and by a single click can obtain the desired service. All of the “housekeeping” is taken care of by the COS without any user intervention.
A user must be able to obtain instantly services from a diversity of cloud operations platforms, each hosting a broad range of applications. The COS software must be able to channel a user’s request to a diversity of sources. Such flexibility is necessary to assure the portability requests across any platform, retrieval of data from any application and compatibility with every conceivable appliance, as illustrated below.
The COS of the future differs from the current Operating Systems (OS) such as Windows or Linux. The present OS manages how vendor-defined applications are integrated with dedicated servers. The future COS will manage widely different software-defined environments across the entire “stack” of services. This diversity will include diverse hardware, diverse applications and diverse computer devices.
The key to the deployment of COS is the establishment of a user’s personal “Cloud Identity.” Such also security offers catalogues to show what services are available on private and public clouds. The catalogues enable customers to take advantage of services from the public cloud while maintaining the security and control that is necessary for access to private clouds. With single-sign on security available, the progress to cloud computing can than accelerate.
COS is not a figment. It represents a series of evolutionary software offerings that are emerging to dominate the way firms will invest in information technologies.
The integration of three completely separate but interoperable tiers of cloud computing (Operations, Applications and Appliances) becomes the way for planning the architecture of the information of the future. It will be the availability of completely new software that will make such integration feasible.