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Does DR in the cloud require a dedicated communication line?

Learn some of the bandwidth challenges associated with backing up data to the cloud.

When performing DR in the cloud, you will use an Internet connection to access your cloud provider. However, with...

more and more data traffic flowing across the Internet from any given company, these connections are already under pressure.

Any movement of significant applications and data that float to the cloud will put additional strain on that bandwidth. It may well be that you need a bigger pipe to support your traffic flow. It's critical that data flows quickly.

You would absolutely want to look into some bandwidth testing to ensure the existing pipe is big enough to handle a cloud disaster recovery situation or to see if you need to increase its size. You could look at a WAN optimization unit that could help to shrink the traffic that goes to the Web. Some cloud gateways also include optimization. That might help you use the existing Internet connection and still get the results.

However, unless you are backing up large amounts of very active data, typical Internet bandwidth will likely suffice. Data is sent to the cloud incrementally throughout the day, so you aren't typically sending huge amounts of data at a time.

The biggest bandwidth challenge would be restoring large amounts of data from the cloud back to your data center. Many cloud services can physically ship your data back to you on various types of storage -- disk, tape, optical and so on -- to avoid restoring over the Internet. However, this may be expensive, so you should be aware of how your provider handles DR in the cloud and the associated costs.

Next Steps

Six things to consider when adopting DR in the cloud

What to know before shifting to cloud-based disaster recovery

How to evaluate potential cloud service providers

This was last published in February 2015

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What is your biggest bandwidth challenge with cloud-based disaster recovery?
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The major challenge would be restoring large volumes of data from the cloud to the data center. Most of the cloud services are willing to send back your data for storage on different forms of facilities including disks, tapes and optical storage facilities. This will avoid restoring an earlier backup over the internet hence save on time and expense. It is therefore important to understand how cloud service providers handle DR.
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I have found that there does need to be a dedicated line of communication that's reserved specifically for the Cloud DR system and platform operations.
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