Microsoft Private Cloud 2.0 – BYOD Virtual Infrastructure

In my first contribution to the Allstream blog I introduced the concept of the Cloud-based workforce.

Here is an article that explains how this model can be achieved via the Microsoft Private Cloud platform.

BYOD Private Cloud

Microsoft provides reference documents for describing their Private Cloud Fast-track best practices, which explains in detail how their core suite of Windows Server, Hyper-V and Systems Management Centre can be used to build internal ‘IaaS’ – Infrastructure as a Service.

They position this as an enabler of PaaS and SaaS, the higher layer application capabilities that this platform can better enable. In this paper Flexible Workstyles they start to look at the solution areas these types of platforms can be targeted.

Microsoft headline this around the transformational effect upon IT of trends like ‘BYOD’ – Bring Your Own Device, and how in enterprise IT design terms this is forcing an evolution from device-centric to user-centric architecture, and with this in mind describe the major options for mobile-enabling applications:

  • Device-optimized applications – For example Microsoft Office Mobile has been developed to provide Windows Phone users a tailored version of Word, Outlook, Lync etc. on their device.
  • Web applications – Any device that can access the web can therefore access any web-based SaaS resource. This is more ubiquitous in an off-the-shelf manner but the device experience is not as good.

Microsoft propose this latter option is the ideal one for enterprise users because it provides an architecture and set of utilities for enhancing and managing the important aspects of this scenario, such as:

  • User State Virtualization Users shifting about between different devices and networks need their personal data to travel with them, not be locked to one specific device. USV is one mechanism to support this.
  • Unified Management – Tools like Configuration Manager uses variables such as user identity, application dependencies and network and device characteristics to dynamically determine the appropriate deployment type for a specific device.
  • Unified Asset Inventory and Device Management – This also encompasses Asset and also Device Management enabling IT staff to better track and control all IT resources and where needed remotely manage them, such as performing device data wipes.
  • End-to-end Security – To ensure compliant protection of devices there are a variety of security features, such as drive encryption, anti-malware, tie ins with IPsec for VPN security and AD-based Rights Management, offering end-to-end protection from device right through network.

Microsoft also provides Windows Intune, a lightweight Cloud service for smaller organizations to use a SaaS option for managing their IT estate.

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