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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.

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