6. System Administration Applications
Should you really want to compromise your systems, their data, and your integrity, deploy a system administrative tool to the public cloud. The fireworks will be impressive. Your systems will mostly likely find themselves repurposed into SPAM engines or a convenient hop for crackers who need a safe jump box from which to leap into another network. Keep system administration tools quietly tucked away on your local systems. Don’t worry, you can still manage your remote systems with the local tools.
7. Customer Processing
If you’ve set up your own online customer processing system and deployed it to a cloud-based provider, I hope you aren’t storing the data in a cloud-based database system (See No. 1 Databases). The solution is to securely process the credit card information and destroy it when the session is complete. There’s no need for you to store credit card information. If you do indeed have such a need, store these numbers inside your own network on a secured database system.
8. Marketing Applications
Home-grown marketing applications installed on public cloud servers will mostly likely provide your competitors with some easy pickings via your friendly neighborhood hacker. Leave such applications and security to the teams of developers and security folks who make sure data is safe and protected. Although, not 100-percent effective against malicious behavior, you’re better off letting someone else handle the stress. The alternative is to run the application on your own internal systems.
9. Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) includes an encyclopedia of information about your company, its inner workings, customer base, profitability, project information, statistics, inventory and whatever else you want to include. Do you really want to risk this information in the public cloud? If you do, you should know that your self-deployed system could face an onslaught of cyber tapping that might result in much shuffling and excuse-making at the shareholder meeting. Do yourself a favor and use one of the commercial solutions — if you’re bent on using cloud-based infrastructure and software. Otherwise, play it safer by deploying your BI system in-house. Alternatively, there’s always pen and paper.
10. Deployment Services
New system deployment services, such as Windows Deployment Services (WDS), require a very high level of security and shouldn’t be cloud-deployed unless you comply with this stipulation. Like the other services in this list, commercially deployed and supported versions exist. Competitive pricing and convenience rival anything you can put together yourself, and you can place your security concerns on the shoulders of your provider.
Ken Hess is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of open source topics including Linux, databases, and virtualization. He is also the coauthor of Practical Virtualization Solutions, which was published in October 2009. You may reach him through his web site at http://www.kenhess.com.