What is cloud bursting?
Cloud bursting is one of those overused yet widely misunderstood terms that mean different things to different people. Essentially, cloud bursting means running an application on either dedicated servers or private cloud, and then "bursting" or overflowing to public cloud servers during busy periods.
That does not mean however, that cloud bursting is a reactive solution in response to unexpected events. Rather, it is a tool for efficiently planning for events that are just around the corner and acquiring or provisioning new compute capacity to ensure that you continue to deliver the best possible service when demand spikes.
Cloud bursting is therefore a great solution for businesses with peaky demand patterns, such as ecommerce providers with large peaks in sales at Christmas, or news and sports websites with steady demand that spikes when something big happens, for example the World Cup or the Olympics. Cloud bursting can also be a useful tool for businesses that need to carry out analysis on large data sets ("big data").
Cloud Bursting - the essence of hybrid cloud
The beauty of the hybrid cloud is that it makes cloud bursting simple. Your business may have no desire to move away from a traditional dedicated or private cloud environment; this could be due to regulatory/security reasons, or simply because your application wasn’t designed to run solely in the public cloud. But emerging variable demand patterns, a forthcoming event or a marketing campaign might mean you need the option to overflow or “burst” into the cloud as and when necessary. By building a hybrid cloud environment that delivers the option to burst into the cloud you are building increased agility into your IT infrastructure.
A great example of this approach can be seen with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN operate their own OpenStack private cloud to run the huge data analysis workloads that play such a big part in their research programmes, but have worked in partnership with Rackspace to build a hybrid cloud solution that allows them to burst workloads into the Rackspace public cloud, powered by OpenStack technology, when they need even more compute power. To learn more about how CERN is working with Rackspace to drive new scientific discoveries, click here.
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