Bandwidth limitations are a concern with cloud backup

Looking beyond the advertising pitches and promises of lower costs and easier maintenance, cloud backup users will have to confront a nagging detail: bandwidth, or more specifically, how long it takes to move data to the cloud.

In this video, Ben Woo, founder of the analyst firm Neuralytix, walks his Storage Decisions audience through the issues facing them when it comes to bandwidth limitations and cloud backup options.

"First of all, do you have enough bandwidth? You're pushing 20 TB into the cloud -- this is a big issue -- you need plenty of big pipes. The question is, does your backup or your backup software or your backup appliance do deltas, incrementals, differentials, or even block-level differences or file differences, and send it into the cloud," Woo said.

He noted there are some providers that don't care how much bandwidth you use, while other vendors charge you based on bandwidth and other factors. "Bandwidth will become your number one thought, and your number one variable, because from day to day, you're not going to be quite sure how much bandwidth you chew up," he said.

Woo noted that preparing a cloud backup isn't just a technology hurdle -- you need to be sure that your data remains safe and secure, even when conducting the initial backup.

"The other element about bandwidth is that first seed. How do you get all your data … into the cloud? For the most part, most providers are not offering the opportunity for you to ship them a pile of disks. And, even if they do, now you have some compliance issues to consider," Woo said. "If you back up to a pile of disks, and you send the disks to the online service, do you get the disks back? Who has the chain of custody along the way? Who gets to read it? Who gets to send an armed guard with it to make sure that nobody else opens the box? Do you get the disks back, and when you do, what do you do with them, and if you don't, who gets to destroy them? [There are] real questions for you to think about in terms of seeding into the cloud."

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