Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Which cloud applications will require high-speed broadband?

Discussion

Increasing use of cloud services is modifying users' approach to the Internet and triggering the network in a different way. What are in your opinion, the application that will be more and more used through cloud and requiring high-speed broadband? 

Business analytics, online gaming and streaming, simulation activity, ERP, content sharing are all 'bandwidth hungry' applications. Do you see other cloud applications highly demanding in terms of network use?

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25 users have voted.

Comments

Silvia Selandari's picture

In my opinion, content-sharing is going to skyrocket in the future years. That's for sure going to consume a lot of the broadband capacity!
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21 users have voted.
's picture

And the broadband capacity won't be there in much of the EU land mass, because telcos only provide the service in urban areas where the profit is. If we don't encourage altnets to provide it in the more rural areas we are never going to succeed in helping every citizen become digital, and we won't be a digital continent until everyone has a fit for purpose connection.

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27 users have voted.
Phil Thompson's picture

The typical ADSL / DOCSIS broadband is designed to be asymmetric for content consumption but the ability to backup to low cost secure cloud storage requires reasonable upstream speeds. To back up 40 GBytes in 24h for example equates to an upstream speed of 4 Mbits/s, not available on ADSL with current standards but practical on the majority of VDSL lines where available. 40 GB isn't a huge amount, a typical iTunes library perhaps, and 24h isn't especially fast if your hard disk is starting to fail. But this illustrates the need for better upload speeds, not necessarily symmetrical connections, to utilise off-site storage services.
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21 users have voted.
Carmela Asero's picture

Thanks for your interesting comments. It would be nice to have more views on a wide range of cloud based applications needing broadband availability. In a recent article, "Power Users Driving 'Staggering' Network Bandwidth Traffic: IDC" (http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Networking/Power-Users-Driving-Stagg...) it is reported that both Cisco and the IDC analysts consider high-definition video as a key driver for broadband demand in the near future. The analysts said that more than 50 percent of video and audio streaming will go to connected TVs, an Apple iPad, or another mobile device or tablet. In the IDC report "Worldwide Internet Broadband Bandwidth Demand 2012-2015 Forecast", IDC analysts said "broadband traffic over fixed networks could grow 50 percent every year over the next three years, while traffic over mobile networks could essentially double every year". What are your opinions and views on this topic? Share them with us!
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25 users have voted.
Phil Thompson's picture

Yes, video in general and an evolution to higher definition will drive demand upwards. This does challenge the arguments used to promote broadband investment - are we spending public money on a service for business and economic development or is it just another TV / video distribution method ? The "idiot's lantern" or "opiate of the masses" is not as compelling a proposition as the economic / cultural / other benefits widely argued in favour of faster broadband. Sky TV can provide that without any public investment. I think the mobile bandwidth will grow at a smaller rate than forecast because the bandwidth is constrained by availability - spectrum limits total bandwidth so it doesn't matter how much video people want to stream they will hit a limit of performance, reliability or sheer cost that will inhibit mobile growth.
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25 users have voted.
Dario Denni's picture

So, let me first thanks Carmela Asero for inviting me to contribute to this interesting questionnaire. In my opinion we always look at the ultrabroadband future applications for the downstreaming capacity of the new connections. But there are another aspect I would like to stress today and it's about upstream speed guarantee by a fiber to the home Internet offer. Everybody here have stressed the point of Video HD streaming on line web applications, but I really think that on the counterpart there is the need of uploading quickly these huge video on the web server. So this is the second face of the same coin. The upload speed is not less important thant download speed. All cloud computing applications, to be well joined by the public, home or biz costumers, need a great capacity in uploading contents on line. This is the real advantage that giving sense to the opportunity to share materials (obviously legal contents) and co-working together and so on. And finally we don't have any doubt about the opportunity opened by ultrabroadband connections in letting cloud computing apps working better. In my opinion by asking "Which cloud applications will require high-speed broadband?" we could hide a wrong idea that not all cloud apps need High Speed when instead, if we simply looking at our experience as user of the first cloud services, we can immediatly evaluate the importance of having the best connection ever, to better join the experience of the new services on line. Best regards, Dario Denni dario@dariodenni.it www.osservatoriodellarete.net
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20 users have voted.
Marco Valerio Principato's picture

First of all let me thank Carmela for involving me in this discussion. IMHO, beside typical one-way applications such as HD multimedia, there is another big load to face: cloud storage applications. If charges by telcos will be low enough to let people afford using a cloud storage service with sufficient speed (Dario Denni is right: we'd need more), then users will compare those costs with a local, RAID1/5 NAS solution for backup and, should the cloud storage win the price battle, will throw away NASes and opt for (secure) cloud storage. Dropbox is a non-professional sample of how it can be useful but, for a company, in order to backup to a cloud storage, there are further needs such as 1) security, 2) available space, 3) service level, 4) upload speed, 5) availability and fault tolerance. These are all serious challenges that can't be taken over without a real, high performance networking. And, last but not least, if a network is able to face bandwidth-hungry applications like cloud storage operations, then it surely has no problems in being able to carry out Full-HD data traffic. The real challenge, IMHO, is there: once cloud storage will become "the rule" and not "the exception", markets will have to change accordingly.
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27 users have voted.
Silvia Selandari's picture

I would like to thank you all your interesting and tough-provoking comments. Indeed, sufficient upstream speed has to be available for cloud-enabled services to work properly. Video upstream speed is also critical. On top of that, we are all aware of the enormous benefits of cloud storage applications.
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28 users have voted.
David Osimo's picture

i had to give up on remote backup because it took ages. Plus, my ISP actually downgraded my speed because it considered I was doing peer-to-peer file sharing. Similar issue when activating Google Music for the first time. All in all, upload speed is a major bottleneck to doing the switch to cloud since the initial switch requires extensive data upload.
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23 users have voted.
Carmela Asero's picture

The comments so far are all very interesting but it would be nice to know your overall assessment of current status and known demand and needs.

In your opinion, is the current broadband development in line with the Cloud need?

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19 users have voted.
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Carmela ASERO Senior Strategy and Policy Officer for Cloud Computing
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