> Issue LXXXIII, April 2014

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A Journey Towards a Compute Continuum:
Client-Aware Cloud Services for Smart Clients

Jonathan Ding, Jennifer Jin, Samuel Xu

One of the primary objectives of mobile Internet services is to deliver a compelling user experience. The key is to deliver the services that best fit the devices that serve the end users and make the users have a consistent continuum of experiences across these devices. As part of the much grander vision of a compute continuum, client-awareness and HTML5 are critical architecture building blocks. This article focuses on the architectural essence of the compute continuum and how client-aware cloud services for smart devices fit into the grand vision. Since HTML5 is a key technology for cross-platform content delivery from PC to tablet, TV, and smart phone, this article also focuses on key technology challenges of cloud-awareness using HTML5 technology. The compute continuum is Intel's vision of cloud computing to enable the seamless computing to cross different device form factors, for both enterprises and consumers. In this article, we introduce the emergence of client-aware cloud to fulfill the vision of the compute continuum, the technical challenges of the client-aware cloud, and Intel's initiative to explore and solve those challenges. Combining with the HTML5 initiative from W3C, we also introduce how client-aware technology will be shaped in near future to present the seamless Compute Continuum. We constantly understand how people are currently using connected devices and looking for ways to make connected devices work better, and work better together. The compute continuum is an Intel-wide initiative aimed at delivering a range of seamless, personalized, and protected cross-device experiences for end users using their preferred devices. Intel is laying the groundwork in 2012 for bringing exciting and new ways for users to enjoy connected device experiences. There are two different experiences on...

Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking:
Virtualized Desktops and Servers

Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is used to complement servers on virtual machines (VMs) and physical machines (PMs). While not all applications can be consolidated, most can be virtualized for use on virtual desktops and servers. Virtualization improves IT agility and network efficiency. It also allows for better data protection by enabling backup/restore, high availability (HA), business continuance (BC), and disaster recovery (DR). Key themes for this article include virtual desktop infrastructure, consolidation vs. virtualization of applications, and the opportunities afforded by virtual servers for cloud and storage networks. There are many issues, challenges, and opportunities involved with virtual servers for cloud and storage networking environments. Physical machines (PMs) or servers form the foundation on which virtual machines (VMs) are enabled and delivered. Virtual desktop infrastructure is utilized in conjunction with VMs in order to manage and protect virtual data. Many different software and hardware options are available for VDIs, which can function as displays or have computational abilities. Although caution is necessary when consolidating and virtualizing servers and desktops, the opportunities that arise from virtualization allow us to improve data protection and storage efficiency. A virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) complements virtual and physical servers, providing similar value propositions as VMs. These value propositions include simplified management and a reduction in hardware, software, and support services at the desktop or workstation, shifting them to a central or consolidated server. Benefits include simplified software management (installation, upgrades, repairs), data protection (backup/restore, HA, BC, DR) and security. Another benefit of VDI similar to VMs is the ability to run various versions of a specific guest operating system at the same time, similar to server virtualization. In addition to different versions of Windows, other guests, such as Linux, may also coexist. For example, to streamline software distribution, instead of rolling...

The Past, The Present, and The Future of Cloud Computing

Reuven Cohen

Reuven Cohen

To best understand the current opportunities found in the rapid adoption of cloud computing technology, you must visit the past so you can adapt to the future. Author Reuven Cohen takes us on a guided journey through the cloud like no other person can. So sit back and enjoy the ride into the future of computing. To say cloud computing has entered the collective consciousness of the IT world would be putting it mildly. Over the last few years we've seen cloud computing emerge at the heart of a radical shift in the way we consume, deploy, and utilize computing technology within our digital lives. In this article I will explore the roots of the trend over several decades from desktop to mobile, to federated markets, as well as consider its future. Cloud computing has been referred to as revolutionary, even magical. Like most trends in IT, cloud computing is a combination of a number of underlying trends that have long been in the works, a kind of evolutionary blend of our previous successes and failures. A key term driving the adoption of cloud computing has been the term "the cloud." In essence the concept of "the cloud" is as a metaphor for the Internet as an operational environment where applications are utilized over the Internet rather than through more traditional means such as a desktop. No longer are users bound by the limitations of a single computing device, but instead are free to experience a multitude of devices, platforms, and mobility (both socially and physically). To understand this trend we must follow its roots, ones that go back as far the 1960s as seen with Douglas F. Parkhill who first envisioned the coming trend. In his 1966 book The Challenge of the Computer Utility [REF-1], Parkhill, a Canadian electrical engineer, predicted that the computer industry would come to resemble a public utility "in which many remotely located users are connected via communication links to a central computing facility." A primary tenant of today's cloud platforms, Parkhill's "Computing Utility" vision spoke directly to the coming shift we see taking place today. For many years...

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