There are many use cases for the cloud and often times starting small is the best way to ensure success when transitioning projects to the cloud. Over the past several months, I have seen the cloud used to address some interesting IT and business challenges. The use cases below are small in comparison to the typical use cases Skytap sees (ie. application development and test, ITOps, etc.), but can add a lot of value to your organization. Let’s take a look at these three cool use cases for the cloud:
There are a lot of services that specialize in remote monitoring, however sometimes you need access to a VM that is running a specific client application, or perhaps a series of monitoring and operations tools. Having a VM or multiple VM’s in this scenario can help validate the core services running on-premise and/or through a hosting facility that is up and running and performing as it should be. With Skytap you can easily spin up VM’s for this specific need to handle any type of remote monitoring whether on premise or in a hosted off-site facility.
Network and Application Penetration Testing
Typically this type of testing should be done remotely. Like monitoring services, there are a host of other services that you can use network and application penetration testing. As a best practice it is always a good idea to supplement third party scanning with your own. Using Skytap, you can easily create a VM running from multiple locations in the cloud and install your favorite security scanning tool to check your web-based apps and corporate firewall for vulnerabilities. One word of caution, most cloud providers monitor their network for this type of traffic and may flag it as being malicious. It is always a good idea to provide your cloud provider notice before scanning your own systems.
For load / performance testing of Internet facing apps it is always advantageous to test performance from multiple remote locations. This is a perfect use case to leverage one or more cloud providers that are globally geographically dispersed to deploy load generation machines and test for this purpose. Make sure that your Application Under Test (AUT) connection and your provider can handle the load.
The cloud can enable tremendous innovation and there are multiple business and technical problems that can easily be solved using it. Solving your company’s biggest pains doesn’t have to be your test bed for transitioning to the cloud. Starting small is your best bet for cloud success and the examples above are great use cases to get you started.
Mike Neil, Director of Field Operations – Skytap