The average small or medium-sized business most likely believes that nothing the space agency NASA does could have much impact on its operations or way of doing business, but there, such businesses might be surprised. Jet Propulsion Laboratories, a branch of NASA, has recently begun examining the implementation of a cloud computing approach in some of its systems. Its way of testing the efficacy of cloud computing provides an example that even the smallest business could follow.
"One of the key things is, and I can't emphasize how important this is, you only learn by doing," remarked Tomas Soderstrom, who serves as the chief technology officer at JPL. "We couldn't jump to mission critical in the cloud without going through the steps of trying to see how it works in the organization, which cloud vendors work. The key is to put the data and the processing in the most appropriate place."
JPL's specific procedures to test various cloud computing solutions involves using non-confidential data, but treating it as though it were indeed confidential. This allows the employees and managers to try out various products from competing cloud vendors and see which ones provide the levels of security needed. Should a vendor's product prove insufficient, JPL does not have to worry that sensitive data will have been inadvertently exposed to the public at large, since no truly confidential data plays any role in the testing process.
Businesses that wish to test out various cloud computing systems may wish to emulate JPL's example. It is best to do such testing in conjunction with an IT consulting firm that can guide you through the process and help you interpret how your results demonstrate advantages or disadvantages for your business model and in your market sector.