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Four ways cloud bursting can help you embrace the cloud

Sometime over the last 10 years, the term "cloud" transformed from a big, fluffy collection of water droplets in the sky to the (somewhat daunting) future of IT and a fundamental part of some of the most innovative technologies in the world today. Cloud adoption rates have been increasing steadily over the years due to its compelling economic and technical advantages, allowing organizations to fulfill user requests instantaneously and only for the period of time that they need it. But for every organization that is fearlessly embracing cloud computing and the many benefits it offers, there is another organization that is hesitantly weighing infrastructure options, fearful of taking the leap.

Contributing to this fear of cloud adoption is a common misconception that organizations must move every last byte of data to the cloud from their physical data center in order to reap the benefits. The reality is that existing cloud technology actually enables organizations to pick and choose targeted applications to move, allowing them to take advantage of immediate results from cloud computing while leaving other data stored in their physical infrastructure. Workflows across many industries are being driven by ever-increasing amounts of data, causing demand for infrastructure that can explode beyond an organization's datacenter capacity very quickly. Enter cloud bursting, removing one of the biggest barriers facing organizations considering leveraging the cloud: dynamic expansion of compute power.

What exactly is cloud bursting? I define cloud bursting as a deployment model that allows applications running in the data center to "burst" into the public cloud and take advantage of high performance computing to meet demand, turning massive amounts of compute cores on and off as needed. This allows organizations to leave the majority of data on premises if needed, reducing risk and minimizing the need to move large files, ultimately saving time.

If your organization is one of the many overwhelmed by the task of moving to the cloud, here are a few key ways you can benefit from cloud bursting:

  1. Maintain Necessary Data On-premises. Many organizations have good reason to maintain certain data on premises, ranging from legal obligations to compliance and security requirements. Cloud bursting allows these organizations to maintain data in their physical infrastructure while taking full advantage of cloud compute for certain workloads. Organizations can easily utilize the power of cloud computing resources without having to uproot all of their data storage.
  2. Faster Time-to-Market. Oftentimes in business, if you're not first, you may as well be last. Cloud bursting provides a competitive advantage by enabling faster time-to-market. This maxim is particularly relevant in certain highly competitive verticals such as financial services, where hedge fund and portfolio managers must continuously run pricing simulations to determine what may need to be adjusted; the faster and more frequent those simulations, the better. With on-premises infrastructure you are limited to the number of cores that can be run - in the cloud you aren't. You can run as many cloud cores as you need to complete cycles in a shorter time. Even if you are running behind schedule, cloud computing is ready, waiting to crunch and analyze data at greater capacity to help you meet your timeline.
  3. Pay Only for What Is Used. Instead of paying for servers that sit idle for some percentage of time, cloud computing lets you have as much compute as you need to get the job done. One advantage bursting from on-premises storage offers - organizations limit the usage costs associated with block storage in the cloud compute, leveraging what you own for all but the "hottest" data. Cloud bursting lets you maximize the return on your storage investment while avoiding large capital and operational investments in new compute capacity that will only be needed in intervals.
  4. Improve Financial Agility. When leveraging cloud bursting, most of the data does not move, making it easy to switch between cloud providers and even to use multi-cloud approaches. IT can become brokers of services deciding where and when it is most economical to run each workflow.

Cloud bursting allows you to focus on your core business. Cloud bursting's ability to help maintain data security and control while accessing unlimited compute resources enables organizations to focus on core missions and strategic objectives rather than worrying about whether their IT infrastructure can support timelines and requirements. If your organization is considering a move to the cloud to take advantage of cloud bursting, the first step will be to find a high-performance system that can seamlessly onboard the data, and from there you can have the power of just-in-time compute at your fingertips.

More Stories By Scott Jeschonek

Scott Jeschonek is Director of Product Management at Avere Systems. With 20 years of enterprise, telecommunications and vendor experience, he can provide a unique perspective on the cloud phenomenon. He has participated in a number of public speaking engagements, along with years of delivering technical training.

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