On the whole, performance issues such as upload and download throughput and predictability did not vary all that much in information technology executive thinking about cloud services, a study by Freeform Dynamics, sponsored by Microsoft, has found. But two considerations did stand out, the report finds. See http://whitepapers.theregister.co.uk/paper/view/2096/cloud-connectivity.pdf.

A best-effort copper broadband connection may be a good solution for syncing files and email to branch offices, for example, as these are largely asynchronous in nature, but may well present issues if attempting to run line-of-business sales, customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning applications in the cloud, the study of 161 predominantly IT professionals from the United Kingdom, U.s. and other geographies concludes.

“From the responses we received, it’s clear to see that site-to-site WAN connections and fiber-based broadband have a distinct advantage over copper based broadband when it comes to reliability,” the report concludes.

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Though connectivity is not widely perceived to be a major barrier to the adoption of cloud services, the optimism about ability to use existing connectivity infrastructure to support cloud computing is widespread, but based largely on intuition rather than actual deployment experience, the report says.

In reality, connectivity can be a significant challenge,” the report suggests. “The broad optimism around the suitability of connectivity to support Cloud adoption is not borne out by those who already make use of this new delivery model,” the report suggests.

Separately, the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests that cloud computing is “not for everyone.” A report by NIST outlines various cloud computing models and discusses strengths and weaknesses. Cloud computing in general favors applications that can be broken up into independent parts due to the networked aspect of cloud computing, the study notes. See http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/drafts/800-146/Draft-NIST-SP800-146.pdf.

On the other hand, the studies suggest access provider opportunities in the area of providing high-quality access, transport and other services that assure performance of real-time applications.

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