Cloud computing is still a relatively new innovation, and it’s causing many established IT strategies to be overthrown for more efficient and cheaper processes. The different strategies that the cloud provides include a variety of options, such as storing data in either the public or private cloud. A recent development known as cloud bursting is a cloud model that stores and manages your applications and data primarily in a private cloud, but it has the capability to “burst” into a public cloud when the processing demand is too high for the public cloud to handle. This allows your business to enjoy the benefits of a private cloud without worrying that a sudden increase in traffic will derail the system. Cloud bursting models are most appropriate for noncritical applications that don’t manage sensitive information or that require interaction with internal systems in order to function.
The benefits of cloud bursting
Although cloud bursting cannot be used with every type of application, it offers significant benefits when its use is warranted. Some of the primary advantages of cloud bursting include the following characteristics:
- Flexibility: Cloud bursting gives you the best of both worlds by operating in the private cloud architecture when possible and then moving to the public cloud when necessary.
- Reliability: When you use cloud bursting, you can be confident your applications will operate as they’re supposed to without any unexpected interruptions, even if the processing demand increases significantly.
- Cost effectiveness: With cloud bursting, you pay only for the resources you use. If your processing demands remain low enough to avoid bursting into the public cloud, you won’t pay for any extra space.
Cloud bursting security issues
In spite of its many benefits, cloud bursting does pose some security issues. Many companies that choose to keep their data in a private cloud do so because they’re worried about the potential for security breaches. Although cloud bursting keeps your data and applications in a private cloud as much as possible, they’ll enter the public cloud on occasion. Thus, cloud bursting isn’t usually appropriate for companies that deal with sensitive information and compliance, such as medical files.
Is cloud bursting automatic?
If you choose to implement cloud bursting, the move into the public cloud will happen when the traffic or demand exceeds the capacity of the private cloud. However, depending on the specifics of your situation, bursting into the public cloud may not happen in real time. In addition, sudden bursts into the public cloud require extra storage and bandwidth, which may not be readily available unless you prepare in advance. Not every web host is equipped to handle spontaneous traffic spikes, which can cause significant problems with cloud bursting.
To prevent these issues, do some research to determine exactly how the cloud bursting process will work for your company and prepare accordingly. Find out whether your web host will be able to handle these unexpected bursts before your system is fully established, and consider choosing a different web host if your current host isn’t properly equipped.
Because of its inherent security issues and relative complexity, cloud bursting isn’t the right choice for every business. However, if your company deals with nonsensitive data and has the resources necessary to manage cloud bursting, it can be a cost-effective solution for increasing the reliability of your data and applications.
Emily Miller is a marketing professional and small business blogger who administrates and contributes regularly to Technected. She is currently working to help startups and small businesses implement technology solutions for their companies.