One of the most exciting developments in the world of cloud computing is the opportunity for businesses to create their own cloud-based applications to handle data and workflow more efficiently. A variety of platforms can be leveraged to accomplish this. Two such platforms that are gaining in popularity in recent months are Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), an Amazon offering, and the Google App Engine, which is currently available in preview form.
Companies considering developing their own cloud-based applications should think about structuring goals through a project work approach, in which an IT company provides a team of skilled experts to design, test, and implement such applications.
The Google App Engine is currently most appropriate for testing ideas for cloud implementation; IT companies at this time do not recommend using it to build applications that are critical to your business. Still, it can be a useful first step to help a firm begin to understand what a cloud-based application can accomplish in terms of efficiency and cost savings. At the current time, Google is providing developers with beginner accounts that contain 500 MB of storage space. Their provision of CPU time is 200 megacycles per day, and they are limited to a 10 GB allocation of bandwidth for the same period.
The Amazon EC2 system is more fully realized at this time. A commercial approach, EC2 is structured around the idea that customer will rent VMs using a web interface that allows them to connect to the virtual world.