What is Cloud Bursting and its Benefits with Examples

What is Cloud Bursting?

Cloud Bursting comes into practice when there is a peak in IT demand. It is a configuration in cloud computing where the private and public clouds deal together to deliver uninterrupted service. To make it simple to understand, when the private cloud reaches its resource capacity limit, then in order to maintain uninterrupted services for the users, the private cloud redirects the overflow traffic to the public cloud. Thus, as per this configuration, the private cloud “bursts” into the public cloud when triggered with the high demand usage or a user makes a manual request.

What is Cloud Bursting

Cloud bursting has a hybrid cloud deployment model payable only if there is a need for extra compute resources by an organization. Under this model, the private cloud is the primary source for resource customization of on premises infrastructure. However, if the server notices an increase in traffic and demand by users, the cloud redirects all the incoming traffic to the public cloud resources. Once the situation is under control and less traffic is received, all the data is shifted to the primary private cloud.

This technology is best suitable for applications that run a content delivery system, or big data analytics applications, or Machine learning models that demand large scale infrastructure. If an application exercises complex delivery infrastructure, avoid applying cloud bursting technology for such applications. Learn more about the approaches that can be applied to bring cloud bursting into practice, manual bursting, distributed load balancing, and automated bursting.

Distributed Load Balancing

Distributed Load Balancing approach focuses on the workload balancing and monitoring between the data center and public cloud. Firstly, it computes instances, monitors, stores, and then deploys cloud services and resources from a cloud provider to the customer. Secondly, it serves the data requested to redirect traffic. This approach works well when you have to deploy workload in the data center and the cloud. This approach requires the user to create a limited capacity standby deployment in the cloud that scales up as per the need to adjust the additional load.

Manual Bursting

Manual Bursting works as the load balancer notifies the operator. This approach allows you to provision cloud resources manually. Organizations will create cloud deployments on a temporary basis for a specific work using this approach. Once the requirements are fulfilled, it is best to destroy cloud deployment to save on the cost.

Automated Bursting

Automated Bursting helps set up policies to administer the bursting process according to which the software performs. Under the automated bursting approach, as per the demand, organizations provisions resources and services. Once the traffic demands are fulfilled, it immediately deploys and deprovisions the resources.

Cloud Bursting exercises infrastructure as a service (IaaS), a leading technology that helps configure cloud resources on demand. To specify the capacity thresholds, developers use tools like configuration management and infrastructure as code (IaC). Further, these tools also help in triggering events responsible for activating the cloud bursting. Overall, cloud bursting comes into practice with the changing demands of the business that cause pressure on the cloud computing resources. As a result, to deliver uninterrupted services, they burst into a hybrid cloud solution.

Benefits of Cloud Bursting with Examples

Before disclosing the advantages of Cloud bursting in the business world, let us have a dig at how cloud bursting operates at NASA and has turned out to be a great technique for them.

To make things work in NASA requires proper management of time and money. NASA had to spend $200,000 for new datacentre hardware and subsequently wait for approx. 100 days to process petabytes of data from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO 2)

Instead of waiting for the right time, NASA switched to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. This approach helped the engineers to achieve better insights for $7,000 in a minimum of six days. Hence, the ‘cloud bursting’ technique has proven itself to be one of the most effective and affordable solutions in the scientific community. Also, the way it has helped manage processing high volume data spikes is remarkable. But, is it beneficial for the business world too? In this post, we will share benefits of using Cloud bursting with examples and how they help in better management of operations and delivering quality results.

Provides Flexible Scaling

No business can run on the same path forever. There will be a demand for more or fewer cloud resources and services over time. Cloud bursting makes it quick and easy to adjust or adapt to the unexpected demand for these resources. They have the agility to change as per the cloud capacity requirement. If the private cloud notices an unexpected surge in traffic, they have the option to redirect the excess traffic to the public cloud and cause no disruption. When organizations can also access the public cloud, they are free to use it for other purposes. They get the right to use limitless resources, large public cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.


Your organization wishes to launch a new product in the market. As a result, you will be looking forward to running marketing campaigns that will further help generate huge traffic to your website. Thus, leading to the requirement of an extended cloud resource. Now, imagine the same situation on a larger scale. Imagine how it would be when organizations are running marketing campaigns for a Hollywood Movie Promotion or a video game release. For a short period, but these events are huge and create a stampede of traffic. In such cases, using the cloud bursting technique is highly beneficial.

Improved Business Continuity

Customers trust applications that offer smooth running and functionality. Cloud Bursting plays a vital role in businesses as it helps supply services to customers without creating any disruptions. It makes sure that customers do not face glitches or pauses in the applications and services by continuously working and providing essential resources and services. Since, cloud bursting works on the backend, even if there is a minimum latency, users will hardly notice or see any interruptions in the service.


Many businesses work on a seasonal basis. These businesses once in a year or as per the seasonal demand account for huge traffic coming to their website, such as in the case of:

  • The Ending Seasonal Sale or Holiday rush shopping on some of the best eCommerce platform or shopping websites
  • End of business quarter
  • During the Campaign Fundraising for political elections
  • Education Opportunities proposal suggested by candidates during the election period

As a result, with the cloud bursting technique, you will be always prepared in advance for the high seasonal traffic. This, in turn, will never let your organization face any interruptions when the applications are running.

Low Cost Operations

Organizations pay extra on additional resources only when they need them. It is better to use the cloud bursting technique for critical and confidential applications as it will help lessen their private cloud infrastructure costs. The cloud bursting technique will maintain and provide an additional set of resources when there is an unexpected surge of traffic in the cloud. Thus, it is better to stick to the Cloud bursting technique, as it will save on your cost and time.


Imagine your bank is spending a huge amount of around 1 million on essential additional hardware and software to risk report the Hadoop cluster. Now! Instead of spending such a large amount on extra software and hardware, try switching to the cloud bursting technique. Run a subset of your data using the cloud bursting on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for $2.20 and other cloud service providers like Google for .50 cents. This way, your bank will be able to save large data at a very low price and face minimal upfront investment. Also, the cloud bursting technique is best suitable for software development and analytics.

Cloud Bursting Conclusion

Cloud Bursting helps you join forces with the public cloud to deliver fast and uninterrupted service. It is its features and benefits that have made cloud bursting one of the most popular forms of cloud computing. Operators can expand the use of cloud resources and services for a short or long period as per the demand and requirement of the user. The additional benefit of using the cloud bursting technique is that there is no need to expand private cloud resources for too long. Health and financial sectors, Software development, NASA, Enterprise data centers, and many more disciplines may require cloud bursting techniques. Thus, this solution benefits businesses across every sector and saves a lot of time and money.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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