You will move to the Cloud or Bust, depending on these 4 keys: bandwidth, latency, optimization, and data type. You have now ventured into digital Sparta, where only the strong survive and everyone else dies. But forewarned is forearmed, so let’s explore what separates the wheat from the chaff.
You must realize that any pipe < 100mbps probably means you will be moving your data to the Cloud over a period of 1 week to 2 months. And if you need it back quickly, can you wait that long? Cloud’s ascendance has resulted in people moving the largest datasets of their lives often via the Internet. If you don’t already have a big pipe, getting one can be expensive and often requires a minimum 1 year commitment for what is intended to be a temporary task. Nonetheless, 100mbps is table stakes, and 1gbps is preferred. Yet, even with a big pipe, your ability to maximize it is significantly degraded by the other keys to migration we’ll discuss below.
As latency increases, throughput goes down. In a LAN (local area network), you send a chunk of data and you get an “ack”nowledgement back instantly. Not so in a WAN (wide area network) . The rule of networking is that you are only as fast as your slowest link. So at this point you’re madly searching for the cause via search engine and terms like TCP window and a zillion other things start popping out at you. Do you spend $100k with one of the WANx (WAN acceleration) vendors for this temporary task? Do you figure it out on your own? The path to optimization like everything Cloud can be fraught with the danger of the unknown. Fortunately, you’ve got a 100mbps or 1gbps pipe, but how do you get the most out of it? Our next point may be the most important!
What must one tune to get the desired results? Every network device in the path from A to B? Only the endpoints A and B? Is WANx the solution? What if B (the Cloud) doesn’t support what A (my PC/server/WANx appliance) is using to optimize the link with? Bandwidth, latency, packet loss, TCP window size, encryption (is AES256 going to slow me down?) and many other considerations become a real headache. I thought Cloud was easy! This sucks.
Even if you buy a 3rd party solution that claims to move data faster than Santa Claus moves presents, there’s always the “gotchyas”. Somehow the encrypted, compressed, and media file traffic can’t be optimized. Your choice of s/w may determine what methods of migration are even available to you. Some software vendors support Cloud protocols, some do not. The characteristic of your data including size, context, content, and whether it’s in file, block or object state as well as locked by another program in use or freely available for copy – all begin to define the many issues you must grapple with during Cloud migration.
To illustrate some of the challenges, you can use this https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70183328/mchase-bwcalc-v2.xlsx
dinCloud offers a service where you can ship them a removable drive or array and have it imported into the Cloud. In addition we have custom migration tools that can resolve or mitigate the issues outlined above. An increasing number of software vendors (particularly in the backup space) support a widening number of Cloud based protocols used to move data efficiently. Knowing the challenges can help you narrow and evaluate the solutions. There’s no need to be cloud wary, when you can now be cloud wise. Adventure forth! 😉 Yours truly, Dr. Cloud / Mike Chase EVP/CTO dinCloud