Use Cases for the Cloud

Cloud Use CasesIf you’ve spent any time within IT over the last few years, you’ve probably heard the term ‘cloud’ more than you really wanted to. The cloud has become something of a buzzword over the years.   Buzzwords are created when a term is overused, and the cloud has been overused quite a bit in many organizations. It seems that any time a problem arises, the first solution is to use ‘the cloud’.

IT professionals are usually the first to scoff at buzzwords, mainly because their experiences have shown that buzzwords generally mean more work for them with very little value gained for the organization. That said, when it comes to the cloud, these same folks who turn up their nose at most buzzwords are often the first to look toward the cloud as a solution to their problems because they know that the cloud has generally lived up to the buzz.

The problem with any type of technology buzz is that most people within an organization don’t really understand the ‘use cases’ for that technology. They hear everyone else talking about it just assume it is a platform or system that will work for them.

With this in mind, I wanted to take a second to highlight what I think are the ideal use cases for the cloud. These may not be your ideal use cases (and if they aren’t, I’d love to hear what yours are) but they are what I’ve found work best for me and my clients.

Use Cases for the Cloud

In my experiences, there are five main use cases for the cloud. While there may be some overlap in some of these use cases, they are about as high-level as I can make them. The use cases are:

  • Disaster Recovery – The cloud makes perfect sense for disaster recovery. It gives an organization an almost instantaneous redundant backup and recovery solution.
  • Data Center Extension / Expansion / Replacement – Many organizations are in the midst of data center transformation projects. These projects include expanding, optimizing and even replacing their data centers. In many instances, the cloud has been driving much of these transformation projects by giving organizations the ability to quickly add capabilities to aging data centers.
  • Development & Test Environments – The cloud makes it very easy to turn on new development and test environments.
  • Enterprise Modernization – Modernization is a fairly large issue in some organizations. They’ve allowed their data centers and other aspects of their infrastructure to grow old and, because of this, they’re often unable to quickly deliver new services and solutions for their clients and groups within the business. The cloud allows an organization to modernize and prepare for the future fairly easily and cost-effectively.
  • New System Development – If an organization needs to build a new application or system from the ground up, the cloud is usually at the top of the list for the ‘where’ that app or system will be built.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the use cases for the cloud.

This post is brought to you by the VMware vCloud Air Network.

  • This a great example of some practical use cases. I would also add another one. Scaling up data center operations without hiring more administrators by layering automation on top of a cloud infrastructure. That enables IT to support a growing business without expanding operational budget.

    • Great add Sam. Completely agree. Scaling up the Data Center is a perfect use case.

  • speedcat

    Saying that modernizing existing systems via use of the cloud is “relatively easy” is very arguable. Given the piecemeal cost structures for apps in the cloud, it’s very difficult to know if cloud will be affordable enough to become the destination for an organization’s apps.

    This same problem applies to development of new apps as well.

  • Cloud computing is most demanding technology for small business holder in this time. Anyway good posting