When deciding what workloads to run in a private cloud, businesses should focus on those that are easy to implement and add value to the business. New workloads that scale-out, taking advantage of a private cloud's architecture, or those that can be standardized for access via a self-service catalog are typically easier to implement than a monolithic, scale-up legacy application. Additionally, organizations will get more value out of their private cloud from use cases in which enhanced agility and rapid responsiveness as a business matters and having servers dedicated to a workload is a suboptimal use of resources. Here are five use cases that best utilize a private cloud and deliver increased ROI.
Development and Testing
DevTest is the classic private cloud use case and for good reason. Developers and QA test engineers are technical users that require little training on how to use the cloud and, therefore, can immediately begin using it once it is set up. Development requires access to resources frequently and the ability to dynamically configure those resources. Additionally, QA needs access to many servers for testing and for measuring load, but infrequently. By delivering a pool of shared resources on demand, a private cloud provides development and QA with the power to provision the resources they need when they need it and deprovision when it’s finished. There is an added value in having developers use the cloud. As they become more aware of the capabilities that the cloud provides to new application design, they can start to build cloud-optimized workloads to address other use cases. Thus, providing a more efficient testing environment will increase the speed of deployment cycles for new applications into production.
New Business Ventures
New business opportunities can be challenging to set up and costly if they fail. Capitalizing on changing market dynamics often requires speed and experimentation, which are not easy in a static data center environment. However, a private cloud offers a readily available pool of resources that can be quickly deployed to support a new online store or a test market for a web campaign or new product. If successful, the new venture can be easily scaled with growth. Just as important, if the project is unsuccessful or needs to change, the IT assets used can be just as quickly redeployed. Using a private cloud to capture new opportunities enables faster experimentation by the line of business while limiting investment and potential losses during the start-up phase.
Every organization has those moments where they find themselves in need of more computing capacity. Whether due to expected events, like holiday website traffic and end-of-quarter close, or an unexpected event like a demand spike from a successful promotion, businesses want to capitalize on the opportunity without slowing down. Historically, this has meant tying up resources through over-provisioning to ensure enough capacity. In contrast, handling these peak loads with a private cloud enables organizations to develop a streamlined response to events and plan for the unexpected. As new cloud optimized applications come online, the organization can also take advantage of external public clouds to automatically shift work outside the data center to gain access to even more capacity. In short, a hybrid cloud approach provides the ultimate deployment flexibility. By leveraging cloud automation the organization can expand and contract computing capacity to address issues without overprovisioning, enabling the organization to increase revenue while lowering opportunity costs.
Batch and Data Processing Applications
Batch and data processing applications, such as risk modeling, simulations, big data and new backoffice applications, are standardized, time-sensitive, run for short periods of time, and require significant computing power. The standardized nature of these applications make them easy additions to a private cloud's self-service catalog, enabling the user to rapidly deploy the application and requisite resources on demand and then just as quickly shut it down upon completion of the task. This type of workload is also closely aligned with the peak load solutions and will benefit from the same hybrid cloud approach discussed above. The on-demand scalability and flexibility of a private cloud to meet the short-term computing needs of these applications eliminate the need for dedicated resources and increase utilization, thereby reducing the cost of delivery.
Even in the digital age getting closer to and better serving the needs of customers often require expanding a company's footprint by opening traditional physical locations such as new branches, stores, factories or distribution centers. Typically, these locations have standardized IT systems and applications on-site that regularly entail a labor-intensive setup and a local presence to maintain them. A private cloud allows the business to centrally manage common resources that are accessed broadly by local staff. As a result, IT can set-up new locations without putting staff on-site, which helps to lower costs and enhances the business's ability to address customer needs and grow revenue.