Aspen Systems recommends cloud bursting for high performance, non-critical applications that handle non-sensitive information. An application can be deployed locally and then burst to the cloud to meet peak demands, or the application can be moved to the public cloud to free up local resources for business-critical applications. Cloud bursting works best for applications that don’t depend on a complex application delivery infrastructure or integration with other applications, components and systems internal to the data center.
When considering cloud bursting, an organization must consider security and regulatory compliance requirements. For example, cloud bursting is often cited as a viable option for retailers that experience peaks in demand during the holiday shopping season. However, cloud computing service providers do not necessarily offer a PCI DSS-compliant environment and retailers could be putting sensitive data at risk by bursting it to the public cloud.
Cloud Bursting Concerns
- The nature of the services running in the private cloud or data center
- Security, compliance and privacy issues when moving data between environments or other constraints or requirements involved when migrating data and or services to a public cloud
- Set-up policies effective for your data and services to achieve the best results in speed, agility and economy of scale; for example policies that identify public or non-sensitive data that is perfect for bursting into a public cloud and perhaps policies inhibiting other critical services or data from leaving the confines of the private cloud environment or data center in peak work load periods
- Public clouds need to be able to satisfy the over capacity needed by private clouds and should be able to effectively load balance its workload so as not to cause deterioration in other existing services
- Latency challenges would be to ensure latency between environments so as to not have a negative effect on the application or user experience
- The cloud environments, if utilizing cloud bursting within hybrid cloud deployment, needs to be interoperable and use the same platforms to avoid inconsistencies among the environments
Benefits and Challenges of Cloud Bursting
- Ability to expand and retract services based on changes in capacity needs
- Cost reduction, enterprises only pay for extra computing resources on demand
- Increased performance with spikes in workloads
- Bursting new instances of applications to another cloud
- Ability to burst scalable application tiers to improve performance at peak periods
- Reduced capital expense
When your deployment has the ability to do cloud bursting or spreading the load to the public cloud, you essentially have a hybrid cloud. Hybrid clouds can deliver a bit more functionality than just cloud bursting. They help you to potentially balance the load, etc. While hybrid cloud is a very good concept, there are a number of things to consider including security, performance, making enterprise-class services available and more.
Cloud bursting may be practical in some situations but the reality is that a hybrid cloud or having your apps or services or data permanently in the cloud is by far more beneficial and even more cost effective than bursting into the public cloud at times of increased capacity. With hybrid cloud deployment on the rise even more so.
Security will always be a concern. But comparing security issues between cloud busting and hybrid cloud, cloud bursting does not always allow for better security. Bursting from a secure private data center into a public cloud also requires the same compliance and security in the public environment equivalent to that of your data center for you to claim compliance; you cannot claim to be compliant except in peak intervals. Likewise when utilizing hybrid cloud you need to ensure that both your private and public environments within a hybrid cloud share equal security and compliance criteria.
Managing a hybrid cloud, although with its own challenges, seems simpler than with cloud bursting. Being able to move entire apps or locate them within one or the other cloud based on fit and business requirement alleviates the managing and configuration tasks required with cloud bursting.
The hybrid cloud is an opportunity to level the playing field for businesses endeavoring to achieve a high level disaster recovery strategy persevering to reduce the threat of downtime. Due to the reduced cost and array of benefits small and medium sized businesses are better equipped to achieving this goal through disaster recovery within the cloud rather than through other strategies. It seems probable that the hybrid cloud approach to capacity and failover strategy challenges might be the way forward for most businesses.