How fast must an Internet pipeline be to support cloud-based applications?

Any cloud-based installation is going to be adding traffic across your Internet connection, so it is important to ensure that you have purchased enough bandwidth and it can handle the peak loads when your cloud applications will be sending data to your own network. It really isn't about the raw bits per second, whether you have a T-1 or an OC-3, but the actual latency that it takes your packets to transit the Internet to get from the cloud to your office network. For example, if you have lots of network hops, that adds latency to the connection and that means you are going to wait and wait while your browser opens up a server. Particularly if you are navigating full-screen hi-res desktop windows remotely, you could be watching a lot of screen refreshes and it could be painful or almost unusable to remotely control your cloud-based VMs.

Bottom line: You should instrument your Internet connection or have your provider ensure that you aren't running into any bottlenecks as you expand your cloud presence.

ITworld contributor, David Strom, provided the response to this question.

This is an excerpt from the article 12 questions to ask your next cloud computing.

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