10 great public cloud use cases

by The AT&T Business Editorial Team

Everyone continues to predict that cloud computing will keep growing at astounding rates. In fact, Gartner published a report in February that stated “The public cloud services market is forecast to grow 18.5% in 2013 to $131 billion worldwide,” a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.7% through 2016.So why are you still sitting there wondering why you can’t find a workload that is right for the cloud? Well, don’t worry.  Here are 10 quick hits for you to consider, in no particular order:

1. DMZ sites

Consider websites, extranets or other public facing applications that have no dependence on your in-house systems. Keep them completely isolated, where they can pose no risk to your internal data and resources in a public cloud.

2. Capacity on demand

Don’t invest in physical infrastructure to support seasonal or occasional traffic spikes.  Copy your existing VMs to the cloud and turn them off when not in use to save money.

3. Disaster recovery (DR)

All of your applications aren’t mission critical, so don’t pay for mission critical DR for them.  Re-create your catalog of server images for Low and Medium priority applications in the cloud and keep them powered down until you need them.

4. Temporary marketing sites

Tired of having your IT staff jump through hoops to deliver a temporary marketing or promotional site? Simplify your operations and use the cloud to quickly give your business the capacity they want.

5. Development and testing

Have a feature or function that you are considering adding to one of your enterprise apps? Develop and test it in the cloud. Take advantage of the pay-per-use pricing and global footprints that Cloud providers can offer to reduce costs and improve your cycle times.

6. Mobile apps

Leverage the ubiquity of the cloud to host mobile apps for your employees, partners and/or customers.  Global data center footprints and high-speed Internet access combine to create the best possible user experience.

7. Social networking

Don’t bog down your valuable network, computers, and storage infrastructure with content generated from your social media efforts like blog sites, FAQ forums, and community pages. Offload these workloads and their associated storage to the cloud.

8. Temporary use

Have an upcoming maintenance window, migration or other planned outage? Hedge your bet by standing up a temporary instance of your key applications in the cloud. Even if it is a slimmed down version of the real application, letting users know that you are performing enhancements, it is better than a “404 Error Page.”

9. Regional/global sites

Deliver content specific to certain countries or geographies from the cloud. Similar to the Content Delivery Network approach, use low-cost, on-demand compute and storage resources deployed in global cloud data centers to serve up web content, instead of bringing it all back to your corporate data center.

10. Hybrid clouds

Utilize private network connectivity (i.e., MPLS) along with hypervisor utilities, like vCloud Connector, to securely link your internal “private cloud” infrastructure to the public cloud to create hybrid environments that supplement your existing investments with extra capacity when you need it.

There you go. Ten enterprise-grade use cases for the cloud; certainly there must be at least one of these that makes sense for your organization. Do see an opportunity for your business? Are you using the cloud in any other beneficial way?