SNW Europe 2010: Latency will always limit cloud computing

Cloud latency

Many businesses are well on their way towards cloud computing but the simple issue of latency is always going to hold back progress.

This was the view of Jean-Francois Marie, consultant system engineer at NetApp, speaking on the business case for cloud computing today at SNW Europe 2010.

Starting at home, he asked the audience how many were happy with their current bandwidth.

"With the exception of a few countries, you probably are not," he claimed, "but imagine what the next step will be when automation and more devices pushes the bandwidth further."

Marie claimed what we used currently was nothing compared to what we would be using in the future and, to that end, networks would lack and access to the cloud would be likely to suffer.

"It will be a real challenge and latency will always be a limiting factor," he said.

However, the impact of latency on a business will depend on their use of the cloud.

"With archiving [for example], here the network might not be a bottleneck," claimed Marie, saying the need for speed was much reduced for this service, when compared to something like backup and restore.

But with the use of applications as a service, such as email, latency would be a "big problem."

"Business applications are all about SLAs (service level agreements)," concluded Marie. He claimed if companies got these right, then their journey to the cloud would be less bumpy, even with the latency issues.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.