Top 10 Enterprise Applications for Public Clouds

Once you address security and privacy concerns, there are a number of applications, regardless of your business, which you can comfortably and safely move to the public cloud.

By Nari Kannan
Thu, June 21, 2012

CIOCasa and Video is a Brazilian ecommerce site that sells a variety of household goods from air-conditioners to cameras, from bed and bath products to outdoor furniture. The company runs its entire operations on the Amazon Web Services public cloud, computing to storage and running multiple instances with load balancing.

Meanwhile, Netflix streams movies and TV programs to members across the Americas, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company uses Amazon cloud services from many of its data centers and regions.

Netflix initially started with its own data centers but has since moved a large portion of data center operations to the public cloud. Since peak demand happens during evenings and, especially, weekends, it made a lot of sense for Netflix to pay for what it uses during peak demand times and use the Amazon regional data center nearest to the user.

These are arguably the exceptions rather than the rule for organizations using the public cloud for core operations. Data security, privacy and concerns about hosting their data possibly alongside their competitors on the public cloud have prevented many organizations from making more use of the public cloud than they would otherwise.

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At the same time, CEOs and CFOs are becoming aware of the pay-as-you-go model of the public cloud, and they are looking to CIOs and senior IT management to determine how and where their organizations can use the public cloud, even if it's not for mission critical applications.

Fortunately, a number of applications within any organization completely skirt the concerns mentioned above and are eminently suitable for public cloud implementations or pilots. These 10 apps are "public cloud ready."

1. Development and Testing

One of the first sets of applications you should consider for the public cloud is development and testing. In the absence of virtualization, application and database servers may be occupying one physical server each, with levels of utilization as low as a woeful 10 percent. Even with virtualization, servers may be underutilized, since the amount of test data in use pales in comparison to the amount of production data.

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Synthetic test data may be used with these development and testing servers, but that data can be moved comfortably to the public cloud. Moreover, you will pay only when the cloud services are being used. Agile development methodologies, code branching and continuous integration, which requires many code builds and versions, all require the rapid spin up and down of a large number of application and database servers in parallel. Moving all these servers to the public clouds makes sense. Not only would you pay only when you use these public cloud services, but network latency, storage expenses and performance will also be less of a concern.

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