Cloud products and services are only in their infancy, but new and exciting technology is being released at an incredible rate. One example of something new is Kim Dotcom’s newly launched Mega cloud storage service with its free 50GB of storage. What really got my attention with this announcement was that the data would be stored encrypted; it is nice to see security being built into the offering from the beginning. There are a few bugs that are being reported, but hopefully it is the start of the push to secure the cloud.
With all the application and services that are available, does the average small business need the expense of physical infrastructure within their organization? I just had a meeting with a client, and we talked about consolidating their physical infrastructure as much as possible and then migrating what was left to the cloud. During our conversation, we broke down the different applications that were needed to run the business, to look at these applications separately.
Initial released in March 2011 at the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Windows Intune was Microsoft’s first toe in the water of cloud-based management services for business desktops. Initial designed to appeal to small to medium-sized companies with up to 500 desktops, it offered a minimal feature set with just the bare bones needed to secure and control basic of desktop services. Nevertheless, there was strong early interest,with all 1,000 test places taken just 24 hrs after the initial public beta was launched in April 2010. When Microsoft first launched Windows Intune it was easy to misunderstand; combining as it did operating system and application management services, remote support services, and anti-malware services along with a Software Assurance-like Windows upgrade license. As a management solution it was limited, certainly not capable of meeting the needs of more customers with more complex environments. At the same time though it offered sophisticated features that abstracted complexity of managing different operating system releases, and as a cloud-based service it was easy for organizations lacking in skill IT support staff to obtain remote support services from MSPs.