Base your Cloud decisions on an analysis of your applications. Create a usable roadmap for yourself. Identify the key success factors for your Cloud deployment. Understand the implications of deploying your applications from the Cloud with specific reference to the nature of your business.

The above statements are not mere statements. They are aphorisms that must be taken to heart by every organization that has made a Cloud backup and recovery decision. It will ensure business survival and competitiveness.

Remember business applications need to be delivered quickly and efficiently.  This is especially true for business-critical applications. When CIOs and IT Administrators make the Cloud backup and recovery decision, the Cloud seems to be an ideal medium. But, doubts begin the moment a business critical application has to be deployed to the Cloud. Can hardware dependent applications like Oracle, SAP or Microsoft be run from the Cloud? Can the Cloud be configured for speedy, safe and efficient delivery? The answer is yes, provided you are willing to do some hard work upfront!

Your analysis must start with a map. There are generic mapping software (such as HP CloudMap) available for this purpose. Any one of these applications can be used to study and analyze the commonly used databases and applications of your organization. These applications will provide you with a quick catalog of your applications, their content and a bird’s eye view of the hardware / software requirements. You can then match these requirements with what your Cloud service provider has to offer and plan your Cloud backup and recovery strategy. There are also a number of applications that will help you push these applications to the Cloud—but that is for later.

Once you have completed the analysis, you need to focus your attention on the network you will be using for application delivery. Latency is the biggest problem of Cloud computing. The bandwidth available for upload or download of the application instance makes all the difference. You must get your team of experts, architects and engineers along with those of your Cloud service provider to determine the network’s application delivery readiness. A number of optimization strategies may have to be adopted to ensure that your network performs at its best. You also need to ensure that only the right applications are moved to the Cloud and the required resources are available for their delivery.

In short, your hard work will get you the value for the buck and not otherwise.