The good news is most cloud applications have a very small Internet footprint. The bad news is, if left unchecked, all that recreational video will suck the life out of your Internet connection before you know it.
The screen shot below is from a live snapshot depicting bandwidth utilization on a business network.
That top number, circled in red, is a YouTube video, and it is consuming about 3 megabits of bandwidth. Directly underneath that are a couple of cloud service applications from Amazon, and they are consuming 1/10 of what the YouTube video demolishes.
Over the past few years I have analyzed quite a few customer systems, and I consistently see cloud-based business applications consuming a small fraction of what video and software updates require.
For most businesses, if they never allowed a video or software update to cross their network, they could easily handle all the cloud-based business applications without worry of running out of room on their trunks. Remember, video and updates use ten times what cloud applications consume. The savings in bandwidth utilization would be so great that they could cut their contracted bandwidth allocation to a fraction of what they currently have.
Coming back to earth, I don’t think this plan is practical. We live in a video and software update driven world.
If you can’t outright block video and updates, the next best thing would be to give them a lower priority when there is contention on the line. The natural solution that most IT administrators gravitate to is to try to identify it by traffic type. Although intuitively appealing, there are some major drawbacks with typecasting traffic on the fly. The biggest drawback is that everything is coming across as encrypted traffic, and you really can’t expect to identify traffic once it is encrypted.
The good news is that you can reliably guess that your smaller footprint traffic is Cloud or Interactive (important), and those large 3 megabit + streams should get a lower priority (not as important). For more on the subject of how to set your cloud priority we recommend reading: QoS and your Cloud Applications