The ABCs of Cloud Computing

I read an interesting particle on Cloud hosting on Utilizer, and I thought it worth passing on a few of author Jim Liddle’s best practices on putting applications on the Cloud. For one, it’s important to make sure your Cloud allows you to use it for spikes or overfill – because not all permit this kind of activity. Another caveat to Cloud computing: ensure your data transfer is internal to the provider network – rather than external. Here are some other words of wisdom on the Cloud environment:

Know the performance requirements of your app before jumping on the Cloud. If you have low latency requirements, for example, if you’re trying to run a binary exchange, then the Cloud may not be the best environment to achieve this. On the other hand, if you’re trying to run an ERP or some other such system in the cloud then the latency may be good enough.

Understand the state limitations of any Cloud platform. For example, when an application is brought down and then back up, all local changes will be wiped, and you start with a blank slate. Some, like Amazon, offer EC2 persistent storage.

– Take care you avoid breaching data storage regulations. Laws vary, depending on the country or continent.

Be aware of providers’ dependencies to avoid or minimize outage issues. Always check any dependencies when using a Cloud service; if provider “x” is dependent on the Cloud “y,” and “y” goes down, you’ll have issues”.

When considering a Cloud platform, determine whether migrating to others is feasible; if not, pick a provider for the long-haul. This is an issue because, with current cloud computing platforms, there is no standardization of the APIs and platform technologies that underpin the services provided.

– Check Cloud security! Sensitive data should be encrypted, of course, and consider a secure ID mechanism for authentication and authorization for services. As with normal enterprise infrastructures only open the ports needed, and consider installing host-based intrusion detection systems.

Read more here about the dos and dont’s of Cloud computing!