CloudBursting: A Hybrid Approach to the Cloud

How can businesses leverage the cloud without losing the comfort and control of in-house data center operations? Amazon Web Services evangelist Jeff Barr says many companies are following a middle path that combines the best of both worlds. Jeff has coined a term for this hybrid approach: cloudbursting.  

Jeff defines cloudbursting as “an application hosting model which combines existing corporate infrastructure with new, cloud-based infrastructure to create a powerful, highly scalable application hosting environment.” Here’s his description of how it works: 

A pattern is starting to emerge. The conservative side advocates keeping core business processes inside of the firewall. The enthusiasts want to run on the cloud. They argue back and forth for a while, and eventually settle on a really nice hybrid solution. In a nutshell, they plan to run the steady state business processing on existing systems, and then use the cloud for periodic or overflow processing.

This hybrid approach may not slow the interest in private clouds that employ cloud computing concepts to run apps more efficiently in corporate data centers, but it will raise awareness of different ways to manage the risks and rewards presented by third-party clouds.

Get Daily Email News from DCK!
Subscribe now and get our special report, "The World's Most Unique Data Centers."

Enter your email to receive messages about offerings by Penton, its brands, affiliates and/or third-party partners, consistent with Penton's Privacy Policy.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

Add Your Comments

  • (will not be published)


  1. Cloudbursting is a fascinating topic and one that seems to be gaining more mindshare as folks considered whether to move to the cloud or not. It's neither here nor there, which means it's appealing in a risk management sense as well as a financial one. Interestingly, very few providers are actually talking about *how* cloudbursting might work with their offering. It will interesting to see what kind of models and infrastructure they come up with (or if they will) to support a cloudbursting architecture. Lori

  2. As companies evaluate Cloud Computing there are trade-offs that must be considered. On the positive side companies which take advantage of the dedicated server hosting or Virtual servers available when they switch to cloud computing enjoy unlimited capacity, bandwidth, increased security, and a solid disaster recovery solution. The challenge - A the transition to an enterprise co-location strategy often requires a fundamental shift in a company's core operating process. According to Amazon Web Services evangelist Jeff Barr there is a middle ground, existing corporate infrastructure with new, cloud-based infrastructure to create a powerful, highly scalable application hosting environment. He defines this hybrid approach as cloudbursting. As interest continues to grow in the capabilities of the cloud, I expect we will see more discussion on these hybrid approaches.

  3. I totally agree that this style of hybrid deployment will, certainly for the next few years, become the defacto migration path by which many enterprises "dip their toes" into the cloud. I have to say though, I prefer the alternative definition of such a hybrid deployment though, shared by others I might add, of fog computing!