When we talk about the “public cloud,” most of us are referring to the hosted, multi-tenant servers that software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors use to run their systems. In recent years, the generally accepted definition has expanded to include the servers hosting platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) as well.
But does the cloud end where these servers open up ports to users? That depends on whom you ask. Some cloud vendors assume or require that you have more than just a browser; we’re seeing, in some cases, a significant set of additional software requirements. What’s that, you say? What “software” requirements? Shouldn’t the public cloud require nothing more than a free, modern browser and a (preferably high-speed) Internet connection?