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Cloud compatibility concerns bust hopes of widespread cloud bursting

Want to use cloud bursting as a standby for when your business has compute spikes? Not so fast. Compatibility concerns and latency can quickly become issues.

There was a time where cloud bursting was the hot topic on every IT administrator's mind. In the era of pay-as-you-need-it cloud services, the idea to go to the public cloud only when extra compute capacity is needed has natural appeal.

The reality of cloud bursting is more complex, however, and cloud compatibility is a barrier for many businesses. For cloud bursting, the private and public clouds need to communicate fluidly with one another, but that often is not the case.

This handbook examines the practicality of cloud bursting and where it might be better in theory than in practice. Cloud expert David Linthicum writes that it's important to keep in mind a potential lack of feature compatibility. For example, what Amazon Web Services offers in its public cloud is more advanced in most cases than what's found in private cloud technologies, so bursting an app to AWS brings complications that can't go overlooked.

Linthicum lists three realities that admins need to consider: private clouds are not cost-effective, cloud compatibility is virtually non-existent and messing with the deployment model will make everything complex and expensive.

Cloud consultant Jim O'Reilly writes about four ways to make cloud bursting work for your business. The No. 1 item is to forget the private or hybrid cloud and put everything in a public cloud. Another way to maintain cloud compatibility is to roll everything in-house and have internal cloud bursting.

Finally, cloud consultant Dan Sullivan looks at the challenges that cloud bursting presents and implores businesses to consider all angles before making any commitments. Latency can be an issue for apps that move from private to public cloud, writes Sullivan, and admins need to know if data copies will be available in both clouds.

Next Steps

Other articles in this handbook:

Cloud bursting sounds nice, but it's not for everyone
In theory, cloud bursting is an ideal response to a spike in demand. Many businesses do not have the architecture or compatibility to make it work, though.

The cloud bursting bubble: Still no easy solution to compute spikes
It sounds good in theory, but there are a lot of holes in the idea of bursting compute to the cloud. 

Is a cloud bursting architecture difficult to implement?
Cloud bursting helps organizations use the public cloud to manage sudden spikes in demand. But what challenges or issues might it introduce?

This was last published in March 2017

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