BitNami Cloud Hosting is a service that provides the capability to port apps to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. That's a good business to be in these days, especially in a world where the market is trying to figure out how to become more cloud-centric.

BitNami, a service of BitRock, is also a good example of how business apps can be moved off-premise with some relative ease.

The service allows customers to deploy and manage open-source apps on AWS. It's a good study to show how apps can be ported to a cloud environment and in the process move the burden off on-premise management to a virtual environment.

SugarCRM is the latest app that can be ported to AWS EC2 with BitNami.Other apps that can be ported include Joomla, Drupal, Alfresco Software and WordPress.

The process is relatively straight forward. You sign in to access the BitNami platform. Once signed in you access the dashboard to see what servers are running, the latest backups and the cost per hour and month for running the servers. The first thing you do is add a server. You can run applications with different runtime applications such as a Ruby app and Drupal.

You can add the server simply with one click or you may configure to your own specifications. You have options to use a dynamic or static IP address. There are 32 and 64-bit versions in Ubuntu. Other Linux distributions and Windows will be available soon.

Different machine sizes are available in 64-bit. A slide rule allows you to change the size of the server. Pricing is based upon the size of the server.

With the server set up, you can access the applications that have been set up on the server.

Managing the server can be done by using the slider to adjust the server locations.You can create daily backups for the whole server and not just the database. Servers can be scheduled, too. For instance, an internal business app can be scheduled to only be running during business hours.

BitNami is a service that gives a degree of flexibility. It has some competition including companies such as Jumpbox. There are other companies out there that have similar services but the capabilities to deploy servers and be flexible in the configurations is a service that is hard to beat.