Does it make sense to move data to the cloud?  Advocates of the cloud backup, recovery and applications would answer with an unequivocal yes. They would point out that the cloud offers layered security and performance is on par with the best of the breed on premise applications.  They would add to their arguments by throwing in potentiality for lowering costs through economies of scale, optimization of infrastructure use, scalability, high availability and greater reach. But the real bottom line is performance.

How well do cloud backup, recovery and applications perform? Cloud based backup and recovery applications perform well or badly in direct proportion to the available bandwidth and speed of the Internet connectivity. So before you seed your data into the cloud backup you need to understand what you have and what you don’t.

Begin with an evaluation of the available bandwidth.

What is the bandwidth between your on premise data center and the remote data center? You can evaluate this by using any number of free tools that are provided on the Internet for checking your bandwidth.

Next examine the bandwidth that is offered by the remote cloud backup service provider. Many cloud backup services offer connection performance testing including tests for upload and download speeds along with latency. This may be simply determined as a ping test.

The results of these tests will give you a fair idea about your internet connection and the end to end speed that can be achieved while uploading or downloading data to or from the cloud backup.

Closely aligned with the above speed test is the question: is this bandwidth sufficient for meeting the recovery time objectives (RTO) of the organization? Will the backup process curtail or interfere with the speed of execution of production applications?

To answer the above questions you must be in a position to calculate the effective backup speed—what is the time taken for a backup or restore operation? These operations will be impacted the volume of data that needs to be transferred, the efficiency of the backup software vis-a-vis the network connectivity, the pre-upload processes on the data such as de-duplication, compression and encryption that may be scheduled, they type of backup initiated (incremental, full, scheduled, continuous etc) and whether or not multithreading techniques are being used.

So, check out your performance metrics. It will make all the difference to your decision to move to the cloud.