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Kevin Lamb

Are You Cloud Bursting To Meet Application Demands?

The cloud is here. And the opportunities are massive. There is a rapidly growing, entire ocean of infrastructure in the public cloud. Huge companies, whether Amazon or Microsoft or Google, are growing at a massive scale to create acre upon acre of data centers. These services are offering infrastructure at a gigantic scale on an ad-hoc basis and cloud bursting is now seen as a new application deployment model that lets you take advantage of the public cloud when your application demands it.

1,000s of data center operators trust VMTurbo to make sizing, placement and start/stop decision in their data center to assure application performance. By adding public cloud providers VMTurbo now has even more options in determining where to place workloads to assure their performance.

Cloud Bursting

Let’s look at the tradeoffs and decisions involved in bit more detail.

Historically the IT world had fixed, finite set of resources in terms of compute and storage. If workload demand necessitated more resources, physical hardware would have to be added. Thus permanently increasing fixed supply to meet that potential one-time spike in demand. This is an inefficient method to assure performance. Demand is dynamic yet physical hardware cannot fluctuate in the same way.

With cloud bursting a more elastic approach is possible with the nearly limitless supply of resources that exist in the cloud. Workloads can be automatically burst to the cloud as well as pulled back when those resources are no longer needed. What though do you push to the cloud?  When do you make the move? Where do you place those workloads?

You have determined some of your workloads need to take advantage of the cloud because the underlying finite supply in your data center cannot meet demand.  Which workloads though do you move? Well it comes down to a variety of factors. Are those bursting VMs part of an application that talks to a database that will stay in your own datacenter? How will that affect latency? Are you better cloud bursting high performance, non-critical application that handle non-sensitive data? Are there regulatory compliance associated with certain workloads so you’re better off bursting other ones?

Now imagine you know which workloads you could or should move to the cloud. When though do you burst and push them into the cloud? Is there an arbitrary threshold or shouldn’t software determine based on the workload demand and if the underlying fixed data center supply can assure that demand. The question of when though needs to factor in those tradeoffs. The price of using those rented resources, the length of time that you need to use those resources and all the other tradeoffs prevalent in the paragraph above.

This last question might be the most intriguing and forward-looking of them all. Just as there are storage, network, compute vendors today to choose from, the public cloud offerings will become just like any other commodity to place your workloads. Virtualization increased agility for IT professionals by enabling workloads to move across the infrastructure to find the best place to get resources. In the future you will be able to do the same with numerous cloud services. Picking and choosing where to put those workloads. Not only cloud bursting, but deciding how to move across different services and when to pull them back down to a private data center. However with this new capability comes another challenge. Where in the cloud do you burst your workloads?

The ability to leverage and burst to the cloud, whether private, hybrid or public, offers increased agility and opportunity, but to fully take advantage while still assuring performance becomes extremely complex and intensive to manage. Unless software intelligently answers every single one of these questions in real time. VMTurbo demand-driven platform controls your workloads by answering all of those questions in real-time whether in your datacenter or bursting to the cloud. Stay tuned for a follow-up post on how e-commerce customers specifically take advantage of VMTurbo to tackle the challenges listed above and fully leverage cloud bursting.