You have likely heard the expression that when you assume something, you make an ass out of u and me (ass-u-me). The common interpretation of this is that when we make assumptions, we may be embarrassed and/or disappointed when we find out we were wrong in making those assumptions. For example, when you purchase a used car, you should not assume the engine is in good health, and that it comes with a good spare tire. Making such assumptions could be very costly to you.
This brings me to the blog title of “Cloud Assumptions.” Almost every service is having a “Cloud” sticker put on it. Low prices are offered, and grand promises of how wonderful the cloud is, are freely given. However, I cannot emphasize strongly enough that you should not assume any functionality whatsoever, that the vendor will not verify in writing. Over a series of blogs, I will research and bring you examples of functionality in Cloud services that you may make assumptions about, but should not.
Let’s start with one such service today.
Performance Not Always as Expected
Assumption: “I’m going to use an extremely well-known Backup vendor, who heavily advertises how great they are. I have an Internet pipe of 250 Mbps, so performance should be acceptable.”
I picked an unnamed vendor as I hear their advertising very often. They have been around for a long time and sound like a decent offering. My area of interest was in how fast I could get my data back from them, should I need to restore due to loss or encryption by malware. When I first researched them a few months ago, I found that when you attempted to restore large amounts of data, they would throttle your bandwidth to slow you down. As of today, though, good news! Or is it? From their FAQ on their site Company X “does not throttle your restore (download) speeds.” That sounds like good news, does it not? Continuing on in their FAQ we read “Your data can typically be restored at speeds up to 10Mbps” and “it is possible to restore as much as 100GB per day.”
Restoring at (“up to”) 100 GB a day is not a realistic option for most businesses. Even a small business is likely going to be shut down for most of a week restoring their data. For businesses with over 200 GB of data (almost everyone), this solution would not be acceptable under any conditions. Personally, I think they are misleading their customers. To say “does not throttle” and “speeds up to 10 Mbps” in the same paragraph, doesn’t sit well with me. This is still throttling, regardless of how they phrase it.
So both upload and download speeds are two of the factors you should examine carefully before signing on the dotted line. But there are many more details to be wary of, and I look forward to sharing these in future blogs.
As a side note, I will not name this vendor. Primarily, I don’t wish to hear from their lawyers. However, perhaps, more importantly, is that vendor policies can change at any time. What is important to your business is their policy at the time you sign a contract with them, not what they may have done in the past.
Stay tuned for the next in this series of blogs on the assumptions made about the Cloud.