How to decide application’s cloud compatibility

cloud based applicationsInvention of cloud computing is responsible for many innovations as well as for a whole new revolution that has transformed the way IT was perceived (an essential but expensive budget overhead) even few years ago. It has caught the fancy of large and small enterprises alike. Whether it’s a small independent software vendor, a Silicon Valley startup or a large enterprise all seem to consider cloud as a solution to resolve all their IT issues. As a result, there is a rush to adopt cloud to stay ahead in competition.

Cloud computing has benefited both developers and end users.

It offers apparently infinitely expandable storage capacity without large initial investment in IT infrastructure. Scalability, flexibility and agility are the major factors that have accelerated its adoption among enterprises.

It also offers low cost infrastructure to ISVs to host their applications from where it can be adopted by thousands of users. Often ISVs struggle with limited fund and need to balance between the cost of developing an application and offering an infrastructure to support it. Cloud computing has helped eliminating these issues by providing them with low cost infrastructure.

But, is it a right approach to host all applications in a cloud environment? Or, there is a need to evaluate the cloud compatibility quotient of an application to derive its best performance?

It has been seen that cloud doesn’t offer performance enhancement to all applications, rather, some applications tend to work better in traditional environment. Further, there is a need to estimate if hosting applications in cloud fulfills the business requirements of the organization or not.

Technically speaking all applications either partially or wholly can be hosted in cloud. But the performance would largely depend upon the application’s attributes and secondly, on its functionality. Evaluating cloud suitability of an application is crucial in determining the success of your cloud adoption project. There might not be significant enhancement in productivity and efficiency if the critical stage of suitability assessment is bypassed.

We need to understand that there are two types of applications –

  • One that are developed using cloud based technology and therefore, are more cloud appropriate.
  • Secondly, the existing legacy software that are redesigned and rewritten to act like cloud based applications.

We need to worry less about the first category as those are supposed to be developed for the scalable, flexible, cloud environment. The issues arise mainly with old applications that had been remodeled for cloud adoption.

Identifying the key attributes of an application is crucial in determining its suitability for cloud.  Therefore, making a list of the key attributes of an application will help you get an insight. Some of the key attributes to determine cloud suitability of an application are – user experience, security, maintainability, data, affordability, scalability, portability, interoperability, distributability etc. Mapping application attributes to cloud attributes will then help creating better synchronization in virtualized environment. If an application needs access to purely online data then from all aspects cloud will be an ideal choice for it. On the other hand, if the application works on offline model then it should be an indication that it’s not suitable for cloud adoption.

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