Ok, I am a server hugger, there I said it. I like my servers local, connected by high bandwidth, right where I can see them. I keep multiple copies of my data on-site and use cloud based backup too. I love cloud technology- it’s new, it’s cool and I leverage it in many ways- but the meat and potatoes for me stays on site.
At TCC, our practice is about giving our clients the most reliable, high performance systems possible, and, we are asked to constantly drive costs down in the process. Our solutions power hospitals, financial institutions, colleges, Not for Profit organizations, and, Businesses of many different types and sizes. Cloud based solutions are becoming more widely adopted but in our slice of the world they have mostly been either specialized solutions, i.e. Salesforce.com, or mundane services like email which many clients prefer not to have to maintain themselves. For the mission critical systems, the best performance and business benefit comes not from public cloud based hosting, but from where the data lives – most often privately owned on-premise, or, co-located solutions
Before you call me a luddite, consider that while we like to focus on desktops and apps, in the end it’s about the data organizations need to function. This data no longer exists in silos, i.e. AN app and A database sitting neatly beside each other. For most of our clients their day to day “system” is actually an amalgam of many systems and constantly changing data sources. To pick up part of that environment and move it to “the cloud” would introduce latency and new points of failure for critical resources. Over time this will certainly change, but for now it is a practical reality for the majority of our client environments.
Yet, we have tasted the benefits of scale, availability, on demand resources and ease of updates that Cloud based services bring. So what’s a Server Hugger to do? Enter, Citrix Workspace Cloud (…cue dreamy music)
While many in the industry have been busy trying to push organizations into the cloud and present a ‘hybrid’ approach, i.e. splitting resources between on and off perm, it doesn’t solve for what the customer really needs and wants. Customers want the best of both worlds- run their resources where the data lives AND manage those resources from the cloud just like they would with any subscription based Cloud service. Citrix Workspace Cloud does exactly that- it offloads the complex backend system that make up traditional Citrix environments and replaces it with a very simple Cloud service. The nasty back-end stuff is taken care of by them – your workloads run where YOU want them to run. This frees the customer up to focus on what they really care about- the business, user experience, user productivity and innovation.
We got in early as an Alpha/Beta tester. With the help of Harsh Gupta, Joe Shonk and I installed, tested and pounded on it. At first, it wasn’t hard to break which was okay because Joe likes to give Harsh feedback 🙂
Then, before our eyes, we watched as the product iterated, changed and improved (without any action or effort on our side). It got to the point where we would send Harsh an issue report and he would say things like “Oh, we updated the service last night, try it again” and sure enough it was fixed. In more than 20+ years working with Citrix and related products, I had never experienced an enterprise product being improved and innovated like you would expect to see with a website, Gmail, iTunes, etc. On top it, these updates didn’t require any user intervention!
While you can’t eat your cake and have it too, you CAN have both on premise workloads and all the characteristics of Cloud Based management with Citrix Workspace Cloud , take a look, it’s the future….