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Should I move my cloud computing application in-house?

Despite its many benefits, cloud isn't a good fit for all applications. So how do I know if it's time to move my cloud app back on-premises?

Many organizations spend time and IT budgets migrating on-premises applications to public cloud. But sometimes, the other way around makes sense, too. Here are three signs that it's time to move a cloud computing application back on-premises.

1.    Network performance issues

When it comes to network performance in public cloud, beware of long-running data transfers -- especially with big data analytics. Public cloud is an ideal platform for big data proof of concepts and prototyping, but scaling an analytics process to meet production demands requires moving large data sets. If an organization can't copy data fast enough to meet requirements, this may be an issue in public cloud.

In this case, however, organizations still might want to archive data in public cloud. Amazon Glacier is one option that provides archival storage for organizations that need to store large amounts of data at rest. Google Cloud Storage Nearline also provides a similar service for data at rest, but with faster retrieval and a higher price tag -- at least for reads and retrievals.

2.    High data flow costs

While generally cost-effective, cloud migrations can introduce new -- and often unexpected -- costs. For example, some organizations incur costs when writing code to support data flows between the cloud and on-premises applications. If it's too costly or time-consuming to create the necessary network and application access controls for these data flows, it's best to leave some applications on-premises.

3.    Regulatory issues

Business model changes can impact where organizations must host their applications. For example, a business that enters a new geographic market will likely face new regulatory requirements. The European Union (EU), for instance, has stronger privacy protection laws than the U.S. The EU personal data protection rules strictly regulate how and when an outside party can process personal data. In some countries, such as Germany, a customer's data is also required to stay within that country's boundaries. If a provider can't meet that requirement, the applications might be better left on-premises or with another provider.

About the author:
Dan Sullivan holds a master of science degree and is an author, systems architect and consultant with more than 20 years of IT experience. He has had engagements in advanced analytics, systems architecture, database design, enterprise security and business intelligence. He has worked in a broad range of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, software development, government, retail and education. Dan has written extensively about topics that range from data warehousing, cloud computing and advanced analytics to security management, collaboration and text mining.

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