Edge of the Cloud

From www.soatothecloud.com on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 by Mark O’Neill

Steve Coplan from 451 Group tweeted today that “A ‘cloud edge’ device could provide some ability to manage bidirectional flows between on-prem and off-prem infrastructure”.

‘Cloud Edge’ is an excellent way to describe products which links on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based infrastructure. I’d add that as well as managing the data flows in each direction, it’s also important to manage identity in either direction. One of the most exciting products to enable linkage of on-premises and off-premises infrastructure is VMware’s Horizon App Manager. Chris Hoff from Juniper has written a really useful “Quick Ping” piece about HAM (yep, that’s its acronym), explaining that:

What’s “new” with VMware’s Horizon App Manager is that we see the convergence and well-sorted integration of a service-driven federated identity capability that ties together enterprise “web” and “cloud” (*cough*)-based SaaS applications with multi-platform device mobility powered by the underpinnings of freshly-architected virtualization and cloud architecture. All delivered as a service (SaaS) by VMware for $30 per user/per year.
http://www.rationalsurvivability.com/blog/?p=3116

I’ve been using HAM a lot recently, and today I was setting up the Vordel Application Gateway as a Cloud Edge device with VMware’s Horizon App Manager to provide single sign-on from HAM’s SAML and OAuth based model into an on-premises behind-the-firewall app protected by enterprise identity management. From a user’s point of view, they simply click on the app logo, and they are logged in. The user is not aware that the app is on-premises, while other apps they see (e.g. SalesForce) are cloud-based. In fact, the user should not be aware of where the app physically is located. All of this is exciting, and fits well with the vision of “Applications Anywhere” here at Vordel.

It is exciting to see all this convergence. Using a Cloud Edge device to link on-premises to the Cloud, to deploy apps “anywhere”, seems like the future to me. Once users truly do not have to care where their apps are located, on-premises or in the Cloud, then we are beyond the Cloud era and into “applications anywhere”. Cloud edge devices are what makes this possible.