What Is Cloud Bursting and Why It is a Game Changer for Your Organization


What Is Cloud Bursting?

Cloud bursting is an application deployment model that allows an organization to run applications in a private cloud or data center and "burst" into a public cloud when the demand for computing capacity spikes. The model offers a solution to the challenge of scalability while maintaining data security and optimizing cost.

In more technical terms, cloud bursting is a process that involves the dynamic deployment of an application that runs on a private cloud into a public cloud. When the demand for the application exceeds the capacity of the private cloud, the overflow traffic is directed to the public cloud. This ensures that the application remains available to users.

Understanding cloud bursting requires understanding the difference between private and public clouds. A private cloud is a proprietary network or a data center that delivers hosted services to a limited number of people, often within the same business or organization. In contrast, a public cloud is a service offered over the internet that is open to anyone who wants to purchase or use it.

The Game-Changing Benefits of Cloud Bursting

Cloud bursting offers a plethora of benefits to businesses, especially those dealing with fluctuating workloads. By leveraging the power of public and private clouds, businesses can enhance scalability, improve performance, ensure business continuity, and save costs.

Enhanced Scalability

Scalability is one of the most significant benefits of cloud bursting. When an organization's computing demand exceeds its in-house capabilities, cloud bursting allows it to tap into the resources of a public cloud service. This ensures that the organization can handle peak loads without investing in infrastructure that would remain underutilized during off-peak periods.

Cloud bursting provides the flexibility to scale up quickly to meet sudden increases in demand. For example, e-commerce websites can use cloud bursting to handle the surge in traffic during holiday seasons or sales events. Once the demand subsides, the extra resources can be scaled down, ensuring optimal utilization.


Cloud bursting is a cost-effective solution for managing variable workloads. By using public cloud resources to handle peak loads, businesses can avoid the costs associated with maintaining and managing additional in-house infrastructure.

With cloud bursting, you pay for the extra resources only when you use them. This pay-as-you-go model can result in substantial savings, particularly for businesses with highly variable workloads. It eliminates the need for capital expenditure on infrastructure that would sit idle during periods of low demand.

Performance Improvement

Cloud bursting can significantly improve the performance of applications. By leveraging the virtually limitless resources of a public cloud, businesses can ensure the smooth functioning of their applications even during peak demand.

With cloud bursting, applications can continue to run without any disruption or slowdown, providing a seamless user experience. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses that rely heavily on their applications' performance, such as online gaming companies or streaming services.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Cloud bursting plays a crucial role in business continuity and disaster recovery. In case of a disaster, businesses can quickly move their operations to a public cloud, ensuring minimal disruption to their services.

With cloud bursting, businesses can create redundant copies of their data and applications in a public cloud. This ensures that they can quickly recover their operations in case of a system failure or a disaster.

How Cloud Bursting is Implemented

Despite its advantages, implementing cloud bursting can be a daunting task. It involves setting up a hybrid cloud environment, integrating and managing tools, defining policies, designing applications, managing data, and monitoring and adjusting the environment.

Setting Up a Hybrid Cloud Environment

To implement cloud bursting, the first step is setting up a hybrid cloud environment. This involves integrating your private data center or private cloud with the public cloud. The private cloud is used for normal workloads, while the public cloud is used to handle spike demands. Setting up a hybrid cloud environment requires a careful selection of the public cloud provider, considering factors such as cost, security, compliance, and compatibility with your existing infrastructure.

Once you've selected your public cloud provider, the next step is to configure the network settings to ensure seamless communication between your private and public clouds. This includes setting up VPNs for secure data transmission, configuring firewalls to allow traffic to and from the public cloud, and setting up load balancers to distribute workloads between the private and public clouds.

Finally, you need to replicate your applications and data to the public cloud. This ensures that when a spike in demand occurs, your applications can seamlessly burst into the public cloud without any disruption to your services.

Integration and Management Tools

After setting up your hybrid cloud environment, the next step in implementing cloud bursting is integrating and managing tools. These tools help in orchestrating and automating the cloud bursting process.

Firstly, you need to integrate your private and public clouds using cloud management platforms. These platforms provide a unified interface for managing your private and public clouds, thus simplifying the management of your hybrid cloud environment.

Secondly, you need to implement automation tools. These tools help in automating the process of bursting applications from the private to the public cloud when the demand spikes. They monitor the utilization of your private cloud and automatically trigger the bursting process when the utilization exceeds a predefined threshold.

Lastly, you need to implement monitoring tools. These tools help in tracking the performance of your applications and infrastructure in both private and public clouds. They provide real-time insights that help in making informed decisions about when to burst, how much capacity to burst, and when to retract.

Defining Policies for Cloud Bursting

Defining policies for cloud bursting is a crucial step in its implementation. These policies dictate when and how the bursting process should occur and help in ensuring that it happens seamlessly and efficiently.

Firstly, you need to define the threshold for bursting. This is the point at which your applications should start bursting into the public cloud. The threshold should be set based on the capacity of your private cloud and the nature of your workloads.

Secondly, you need to define the capacity to burst. This is the amount of computing resources that should be procured from the public cloud when the bursting process is triggered. The capacity to burst should be determined based on the anticipated spike in demand and the cost of procuring the resources from the public cloud.

Lastly, you need to define the retraction policy. This is the policy that dictates when the bursted resources should be released back to the public cloud. The retraction policy should be defined based on the duration of the spike in demand and the cost of maintaining the bursted resources in the public cloud.

Application Design

Application design plays a critical role in the successful implementation of cloud bursting. Applications need to be designed in a way that supports cloud bursting.

Firstly, applications need to be stateless. Stateless applications do not store any user data on the server. Instead, they retrieve data from a centralized database each time a user makes a request. This makes it easy to burst applications from the private to the public cloud, as there is no need to synchronize user data between the two clouds.

Secondly, applications need to be modular. Modular applications are made up of independent modules that can be deployed and scaled independently. This makes it easy to burst specific modules that are experiencing a spike in demand, thus saving costs.

Lastly, applications need to be designed to handle network latency. Since the public cloud is typically located far from the private cloud, there can be a delay in data transmission between the two clouds. Applications need to be designed in a way that they can handle this delay without affecting the user experience.

Data Management

Data management is another important aspect of implementing cloud bursting. This involves managing the data that is used by your applications in both the private and public clouds.

Firstly, you need to ensure data consistency. This involves synchronizing your data between the private and public clouds to ensure that it is consistent across both clouds. This is particularly important for databases, as inconsistencies can lead to errors and data loss.

Secondly, you need to ensure data security. This involves implementing security measures to protect your data when it is being transmitted between the private and public clouds and when it is stored in the public cloud. This includes encrypting your data, implementing secure access controls, and complying with data protection regulations.

Lastly, you need to manage data costs. Storing and transferring data in the public cloud can be costly, especially for large volumes of data. You need to implement strategies to minimize these costs, such as data deduplication, compression, and tiered storage.

Monitoring and Adjusting

The final step in implementing cloud bursting is monitoring and adjusting the environment. This involves tracking the performance of your applications and infrastructure, analyzing the data collected, and making necessary adjustments.

Firstly, you need to monitor the utilization of your private and public clouds. This involves tracking the amount of computing resources that are being used in both clouds and the cost of these resources. This helps in determining when to burst, how much capacity to burst, and when to retract.

Secondly, you need to monitor the performance of your applications. This involves tracking metrics such as response time, availability, and error rates. This helps in identifying any issues that may be affecting the performance of your applications and taking corrective action.

Lastly, you need to adjust your cloud bursting strategy based on the insights gained from monitoring. This may involve adjusting the threshold for bursting, the capacity to burst, the retraction policy, or even the design of your applications. This helps in optimizing the performance of your applications and maximizing the benefits of cloud bursting.


In conclusion, cloud bursting is a powerful IT strategy that can help businesses handle peak loads, save costs, and improve service delivery. However, implementing it requires a comprehensive understanding of various aspects, including setting up a hybrid cloud environment, integrating and managing tools, defining policies, designing applications, managing data, and monitoring and adjusting the environment. By following the steps outlined in this guide, businesses can successfully implement cloud bursting and reap its benefits.

Author Bio: Gilad David Maayan

Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/giladdavidmaayan/

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