Making Cloud Bursting Work for Your Hybrid Cloud Environment

By Sunil Kishen
Vice President of Partnerships and Strategy, Aviatrix
March 13, 2018

Unless you operate in a 100% public cloud environment, you face the continual question of whether to place particular workloads in an on-premises private cloud or in a public cloud infrastructure.

Cloud bursting—that is, enabling an application deployed in a private cloud to “burst” temporarily into a public cloud—in many ways represents the best of both worlds. But unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds.

Aviatrix provides an innovative technology solution that makes cloud bursting accessible to more organizations with hybrid cloud environments. Before describing it, though, let’s examine why it’s needed.

Why You Might Want To Do Cloud Bursting

The market analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC) published a white paper, sponsored by Nutanix, titled “TCO Analysis Comparing Private and Public Cloud Solutions for Running Enterprise Workloads Using the 5Cs Framework.” The 5Cs framework means evaluating scenarios based on cost, capabilities, customization, consumption, and compliance.

In the report, IDC uses the 5Cs framework to help organizations decide the best deployment strategy for different kinds of workloads. In particular, IDC evaluated three common workload scenarios for enterprises:

  • Highly predictable workloads, typically performance-sensitive workloads with consistent, known resource needs
  • Highly elastic (or infrequent usage) workloads, which burst and shrink compute on demand and have requirements that vary depending on the week, month, quarter, or year
  • Mixed elastic and predictable workloads, which are a combination of elastic and predictable workloads

Overall, IDC recommends the following:

  • Use on-premises private cloud for highly predictable workloads with long life span; for mixed elastic and predictable workloads; or for legacy applications not supported by public cloud infrastructure
  • Use public cloud for highly elastic workloads; short-lived applications; or applications that use adjacent services available on public cloud

The IDC report also states: “Overall, hybrid cloud with multiple cloud stack choices subject to workload is the new norm.” That makes sense, because most organizations have a mixture of workload types, and hybrid cloud environments are a way to bridge the on-premises and public cloud worlds.

In hybrid cloud environments, cloud bursting offers significant benefits. It lets enterprise architects, DevOps engineers, and cloud architects switch workloads on demand from on-prem private cloud to public cloud infrastructure. As a result, they can:

  • Stop worrying about where to place their next workload, choosing private or public cloud with a click of a button.
  • Place dev-test workloads in the public cloud while leaving application databases and key servers and services on-prem.
  • Add capacity on demand, such as fulfilling a dev team request for 200 VMs by tomorrow that will be needed for only a short time.
  • Distribute a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl) stack between the private and public cloud, with the database on-prem and the application front end in the public cloud.
  • Migrate legacy applications to the cloud without re-architecting the datacenter network and applications architecture.

Barriers to Cloud Bursting

According to a TechTarget article by Dan Sullivan (“Is cloud bursting the best solution for compute capacity overload?”), “While cloud bursting is a big benefit of the hybrid cloud model, it’s difficult to implement.”

Most people forget that cloud bursting’s temporary migration of workloads from on-prem private clouds to public clouds poses the same infrastructure challenges as permanent migration. As Andrew Reichman, research director for cloud data at analyst group 451 Research, said of cloud bursting, “it’s complicated.”

For example, you still need to set up the same connections between your on-premises networking equipment and your cloud resources, such as AWS VPCs. You still need to manage IP addresses, edge routers, firewall changes, and other traditional networking functions.

In an article in on “The pros and cons of cloud bursting,” author Lauren Nelson says: “In concept, bursting sounds like the best of all worlds. You pay for your average load with owned servers while using public cloud for usage peaks with pay-as-you-go pricing. In reality, bursting places a strain on your network, results in significant data-out charges, adds latency to your application, and requires the use of two identical clouds with matching templates.”

It also means that cloud teams remain dependent on IT and network engineers to set up all the networking connections to enable cloud bursting. And those datacenter-based IT and network engineers don’t have the cloud tools in their arsenals to deliver the kind of agility and speed that cloud teams require.

How Aviatrix Simplifies Cloud Bursting

As part of its innovative cloud networking architecture, Aviatrix has introduced IPmotion, a tool that simplifies migration of applications from on-premises datacenters to the AWS public cloud.

With IPmotion, managing public IaaS becomes very intuitive, almost as if everything were within the private cloud. As a result, enterprise IT can provide their DevOps and cloud teams with new levels of flexibility in migrating workloads to the public cloud. And IPmotion works the same whether that migration is a permanent one, or if it’s a case of temporary cloud bursting.

IPmotion works by allowing a datacenter engineer, application architect, or application engineer to simply replicate the private data VLAN, and its IP CIDR, in the public cloud VPC—so that the public cloud VPC subnet completely overlaps the datacenter subnet.

IPmotion handles IP address management issues along with security policy management and unified control of private and public cloud applications. IPmotion avoids IP address conflicts by intelligently and automatically routing applications and their related traffic to the correct destination, whether in the VPC or VLAN.

More organizations would likely use cloud bursting, if only they could overcome the technical hurdles. Aviatrix and IPmotion can help cloud bursting become a more widely used option.

Find out more information on IPmotion in the ‘AWS Migration Made Safe and Simple’ blog or in the Aviatrix IPmotion setup instructions.


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