High competitive, disruptive markets require a fast-moving digital business transformation. In such a market you need to operate cost-efficient and effectively to maximize the business benefits of cloud computing. 

You want to spend money on cloud resources that deliver the most business value. Cloud waste needs to be minimized, but your business needs to keep on running. Also in situations where you temporarily need more cloud capacity because you have more demand. 

But scaling up the entire capacity of your private cloud only for such a temporary peak load is not a good investment. 

Cloud bursting from private cloud to public cloud could be a good solution in this situation. 

After reading this article you will know what to take into account when thinking of cloud bursting as a solution for temporary demand. 

What is cloud bursting?

Cloud bursting is a dynamic deployment model in which an application runs in a private cloud or data center and bursts into a public cloud when demand exceeds the capacity of the private cloud.

The goal of cloud bursting is to handle peaks in demand with a set-up of a private cloud that bursts to a public cloud. If the private cloud needs more capacity the overflow load or the total application is directed to the public cloud. 

Cloud bursting makes sure the business keeps on running even if there is more capacity needed. 

Once the normal load has recovered the resources are shifted back to the private cloud.

Benefits of cloud bursting

Cloud bursting has several advantages compared to scaling up the total capacity of your entire private cloud or doing nothing. 

Read here below the benefits of bursting with cloud:

  • Cost-efficiency – you only pay for resources if you use them. You don’t need to scale-up the total capacity of your private cloud. Your private cloud costs can be reduced to a minimal set of resources needed for critical and confidential applications. Cloud bursting eliminates the need to overbuild your private cloud. You keep a low capex because you don’t have to invest. Opex will increase only during use of the extra public cloud resources.
  • Flexibility – organizations aren’t stopped by the capacity of their private cloud. If needed, because of …., they can burst. 
  • Continuity – business keeps on running even if the demand is bigger than the capacity of the private cloud. In this online world with many connected devices predicting the needed capacity can be hard. Having an architecture in which you can cloud burst ensures the continuity of your business.
  • UX – with bursting the end user experience and performance stays on the needed threshold, so conversions can be maximized.

All the above results in higher margins, because revenue can rise and costs stay on an acceptable level.

Cloud bursting example

Cloud bursting can be an option for:

  • High-performance, non-critical applications which use non-privacy sensitive data.
  • Applications that have a more simple architecture, delivery pipelines and less interfaces with other applications or third parties.

Bursting to the cloud is only possible if you ensure the application is compatible with the public cloud environment. Advanced planning is needed for this. You can design your applications for hybrid deployment. When thinking of cloud bursting it is necessary to determine security, compliance as well. Moving an application to the public cloud means the context of privacy changes. You need to prepare for this. 

An example of cloud burst is: 

The CPU threshold of application A has been set by a cloud engineer to 80% for 30 minutes. If the threshold has been reached, application A will be moved to the public cloud. The end-users of application A will be shifted to the public cloud.

Examples of use cases where cloud bursting cloud be an option are:

  • Software development – the need for extra multiple virtual machines for testing and one-off tasks for CI/CD
  • Data & analytics –  the temporary need to execute heavy calculations. Examples; develop predictive models based on stock market data for market risk analysis. 
  • Artificial intelligence / machine learning – temporarily model training, which needs a lot of calculation.
  • Marketing campaigns – if a marketing campaign is expected to generate much more traffic, non-critical applications can burst to the public cloud. Examples are: Black Friday sales, selling tickets for an event.
  • Seasonal businesses – seasonal business organizations require temporary capacity. Example; Christmas shopping, remote work and remote learning during COVID-19, end-year of the financial seasons

Practical use of cloud bursting

The reality of cloud bursting is that it adds much complexity and cost to a technology stack so it is not cost-efficient for many companies anymore.

Setting up an application that can run in the private cloud and in the public cloud is not that easy. You can’t compare the private cloud apples with the public cloud apples. The public and private clouds provide different capabilities and native API sets, and localizing the software for two clouds takes time, costs money, and adds risk.  

A few on-premises solutions exist today that are close analogs to public clouds, because they are sold by the public cloud providers. The big cloud providers, including Google, Microsoft, and AWS, have hardware and software solutions that are scaled-down versions of their public cloud solutions packaged as appliances. Cloud bursting is possible with these solutions, considering that both the on-premises platform and the public cloud platform are purpose-built to work and play well together.

Besides the above close analogs to public clouds, the reality is that a hybrid cloud or having your apps or services or data permanently in the public cloud is often more beneficial and even more cost-effective than bursting into the public cloud. Managing a hybrid cloud seems simpler than with cloud bursting. Being able to move entire applications or locate them within one or the other cloud-based on fit and business requirements alleviates the complexity of cloud bursting.

Manage the cost of cloud bursting and hybrid cloud

Combining private and public cloud can be a good solution for the temporary need for more computing power. Managing the costs of 1 cloud solution can be hard already. The native cloud cost management solutions offer basic functionality with incomprehensible entities in the tools and invoices. Many organizations struggle to get their cloud cost transparent.

Managing the costs of a private – and a public cloud can be even harder. The public cloud providers are not going to solve this issue for you. The public cloud providers don’t have an incentive to help you with managing your private cloud costs as well. 

You want to manage the cost from a business perspective to maximize the business benefits of your cloud computing. These native cloud cost management solutions don’t provide these business insights.

C-Facts can help you with combining your private cloud data with your (multi) public cloud data and give you business insights

Request your demo to find out how you can manage your private and public cloud bursting costs.

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