IT industry experts estimate that between 50 to 70 percent of the file transfers in the cloud happen in batch mode. This forces organizational reliance on technology and automation of business processes. But, electronic file transfers over a network are not smooth and there are many transfer-blips that must be identified and handled. This may also be a good starting point for evaluating whether the online backup and storage service provider has handled the problems associated with batch transfers of workloads over the Internet.
Batch workload transfer automation must be an end to end process. The IT administrator overseeing or scheduling the automated transfer must have the facility to create, automate, monitor and manage the batch process through the entire transfer cycle.
At the core of the concept is logistics management. Data packages may travel from disparate or even geographically scattered systems. Some of the data may be pushed into the organization’s computing system from the web or from suppliers and third parties to the organization. The workload process must combine these disparate packages and deliver the consolidated package to the data transmission and storage point for processing. Processing may involve encryption, compression, deduplication and evaluation of the data in the batch being readied for transmission to the remote system in the cloud. Missed transfers, delays and errors have to be captured, reported, monitored and data has to be re-transferred to the online cloud based server.
It is evident from the above discussion that batch data transfer as per schedule implies that there are multiple iterations and swiveling between multiple computing systems within a network before the package is considered ready for transmission. The process can be very complex and will have to be closely monitored.
There are six characteristics that every organization must look for when signing up for an online backup process that uses batch mode:
- The cloud service must provide a unified enterprise view to the administrator for effective monitoring of the disparate system that connects over the network.
- The cloud vendor software must have “a right out of the box solution” to distinguish between a successful transfer and a failed transfer and alert the IT administrator by auto generated alerts, email messages or dashboard status reports.
- The solution must support standards based popular file transfer protocols and all platforms used by the enterprise.
- The software interface must be user friendly.
- Privacy and security must never be compromised.
- The tightly integrated online backup solution must be able to meet the service levels agreed upon in the Service Level Agreement (SLA).