Introduction to Cloud Bursting
Cloud Bursting in real sense is a sudden explosion of cloud in the atmosphere due to some extreme weather changes and it results in unusual heavy downpour and floods. It is neither predictable nor a frequent phenomenon and triggered by uncontrollable natural activities.
In Technology sense, Cloud burst indicates a scenario in which the load in the current compute environment surges (bursts) suddenly due to multiple reasons and the situation gets managed by moving the additional workload seamlessly to the Public Cloud environment.
In this article let us understand the cloud bursting in detail, how it works and its benefits.
What is Cloud Bursting?
Business generally hosts its applications in on-Premises Compute environment (Private cloud) to leverage sunk investments, adhering to security standards and maintain performance levels. But the existing Hardware environment will not always be able to meet a sudden increase in the workload and the load surge could be due to
- Seasonal demands
- In-Organic growth of the Organization
- Changes in the Business environment
Various Scenarios of the sudden increase in the workload
- The surge in the user count for E-commerce companies during festival time and offer period
- Month-end loads in Financial Applications
- Sales Campaign
- Increased load on Result Announcement day, in the education web portal
- Enhanced data traffic level due to mergers and acquisition Features
Cloud Bursting provides a solution to manage this situation by moving the additional workload to public cloud in a seamless way and its features are
- Continuously monitor the current load of the applications.
- Move the additional workload to the public cloud upon reaching a limit through a trigger.
- Maintain Data and Application consistency between Private cloud and public cloud.
- Switch off the cloud bursting once the load reaches normal level.
- Payout to the public Cloud service provider for Compute and storage as per the usage.
The process of monitoring the workload of applications and moving them back and forth to a Public cloud can happen through an automated system within the firewall of the private cloud.
- Not all the applications can be moved to the public cloud due to the sensitivity of the business information.
- Regulation & Compliance, Security issues in having the data in the public cloud.
- Bandwidth issue limits the movement of data/applications and delays the start.
- Inability to address the latency issues for some applications.
- Performance issues in some cases.
Having the data in public cloud poses its own challenges and they are getting addressed with technical developments.
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Typically Cloud bursting solution operates in the Hybrid cloud environment and the acceptance of this cloud option is widespread today. 80% of the business uses a Hybrid cloud environment in their application deployment. 70% of the business is using multiple public cloud environments ( >3)
These solutions are deployed in
- Specific Scientific Applications where Pentabytes of data is crunched.
- High-performance computing areas where latency issues are permissible.
- Banks and other industries to hold less sensitive applications.
- Businesses having dynamic changes.
Business shows keen interest to explore this solution and reap the benefits of the private and public cloud.
While there are many players in the market to provide public cloud services only a few among them such as Cisco, Azure, VMware, Equinix offer cloud bursting solutions end to end. Equinix offers its solution through the VPN tunnel to address security concerns.
How Cloud Bursting Solutions Deployed?
Data and Applications sync in Private and public cloud
If the additional workload has to be moved to the public cloud for an application, the database and application configuration will have to be moved first to the public cloud and synchronized with the private cloud. The dependency of a high-speed network is essential to start the operations in the public cloud and it will take a while before the operations can start.
In order to avoid the time delay during the start of cloud bursting, the following activities can be carried out well before the start.
- Have a copy of Database and Application configurations in the public cloud. The cost of storage in the public cloud will not cost much when compared to cost of computing resources.
- Periodically say monthly, update the database and application with incremental updates.
- On the day of the start of bursting, synchronize the database and application with the changes after the last update and then seamlessly start the application in the public cloud.
- From that point ensure public and private cloud data/applications are in sync for a smooth operation.
IP and MAC address mapping
During cloud bursting switch the IP address and MAC address of all the servers and other network components in public cloud should match with that of private cloud for a smooth operation for the users working from the public cloud. An exhaustive document should be created with all the address details and kept ready to get incorporated on the D-day. The test run should be conducted to avoid errors and surprises.
Benefits of Cloud Bursting
- Flexible and cost-effective solution to manage the sudden rush of load seamlessly.
- It is simple to manage to scale up and scaling down of the compute resources in the public cloud to manage the load burst.
- Increased agility of Business to exploit new opportunities presented and enhance topline and bottom line.
- Cost savings for the Business on Hardware procurement as the additional load is managed on the cost per use model in the public cloud.
- Internal Compute resources Freed up for better usage in other areas.
- Improved customer experience and customer retention levels due to disruption-free access to the application.
- With this option, IT can run their operations as “IT as a service” to their customers.
Today, the Cloud bursting platform is adopted mostly in applications that are less sensitive and having lower concerns on Security/latency aspects. With Hybrid cloud adaptability increasing among the users and security/latency issues in the public cloud environments are addressed, the usage of cloud burst platforms is bound to improve in the future across all applications.
This is a guide to What is Cloud Bursting. Here we discuss the How Cloud Bursting Solutions Deployed and the Benefits of Cloud Bursting. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –