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By Larry Velez, Sinu CTO

In ancient times, business solutions like antivirus were managed by a server in the office in a client/server model. In today’s pandemic-affected world, there may be nowhere to put that server or many people are at home away from that server. This means that these needs must be solved another way — agent to cloud is the model for these needs in a 2020 world.

Agent to cloud are small pieces of software that are constantly connected and managed from the cloud. One example is the Meraki firewall we use for our customers, which brings mobility and can save organizations the costs associated with managing or configuring hardware. Another example is smart Wi-Fi, which is particularly useful for home office use. Traditional Wi-Fi routers, which are still the norm today, are self-contained with setup and configuration done manually by connecting to the device. Smart Wi-Fi routers have agent to cloud built-in and have an interface that’s easy for people to manage unlike self-contained routers which are designed for IT people.

With agent to cloud, software updates occur automatically to better protect against data security breaches and provide for easier disaster recovery. There are often more levels of controls and flexibility, and it is highly scalable and often more cost-effective than traditional client/server models. An added benefit is that groups of cloud-native devices are often designed to “talk to each other” so you can configure them from the same interface. One ‘agent to cloud’ type of service that most are familiar with are the apps on an iPhone, which continuously update and can seamlessly connect to other solutions.

Tesla cars all talk to a cloud directly from the car to Tesla’s cloud in this same way. Most other cars can’t yet do this because traditional car companies have no idea how to set up a global cloud makingTesla miles ahead of other car companies with agent to cloud.

Software has already eaten the world, and now, through this agent-to-cloud model, it is beginning to eat all the physical devices around us also. After 2020, any device that is not connected to a machine learning cloud will not be able to compete with one that does because it is the only way to scale today. There will likely be a future where tethering all software to a cloud mothership will be a bad thing (maybe when malicious AI is a real thing); and there may be a future when our iPhones have quantum chips within them allowing each of us to run our own universe of multi-clouds within it. This may be a more secure and private future. But mobile computing is not powerful enough yet and servers have no place in business anymore, so, for now, the only model we have is agent to cloud.

Sinu is a technology managed service provider with offices in New York City and Washington DC. www.sinu.com