Cloud bursting impacting the database industry

Published: Friday, May 4, 2012

Cloud computing is beginning to play a prominent role in the proprietary and open source database markets, as the technology provides flexibility and scalability that can be difficult to match with traditional IT architectures. As businesses have come to recognize the cloud's potential from a scalability standpoint, the concept of cloud bursting has become far more popular.

According to a recent ZDNet report, cloud bursting represents a situation in which businesses maintain their own infrastructure, whether a private cloud, data center or other IT setup, and then outsource to the cloud whenever they experience unexpected demand. Essentially, they create a major burst in their IT capacity by turning to the cloud to meet new demand.

The report said the concept of cloud bursting is like having a separate set of trains available in a commuter rail line that only kick in when demand spikes. The problem is that these locomotives have to come and go to different stations, creating a potential challenge that can be overcome, but only with proper planning.

Getting data and other systems into the cloud with the cloud bursting methodology is an issue of time, the report said. When an organization faces a usage spike, it has to be able to almost immediately move to the cloud in order to handle the sudden jump in use. Having the bandwidth and system configuration in place to support that kind of strategy can be extremely difficult.

To resolve this time issue, the report said companies can simply have the capacity sitting in the cloud all the time. This allows the organization to move to the cloud when needed without a delay. However, this presents considerable challenges in terms of data synchronization and leaves companies paying for capacity that they do not need.

There is another solution, however, and that is to move to the cloud entirely. Businesses trying to manage database infrastructure continue to find themselves in a situation in which they have to prioritize the systems that they use to store, manage and analyze data. Organizations cannot afford to simply stick with the status quo in their database systems and not consider implementing more innovative solutions. The cloud is one such option.

Companies that move their database infrastructure into the cloud can enjoy the scalability benefits of cloud bursting without having to deal with challenging database synchronization processes. They can also more easily backup information, gain access to information from a more diverse range of devices and locations, reduce operational costs and deploy a more flexible database solution.

One of the greatest challenges of working in the cloud is trying to integrate premise-based IT systems with the cloud setup. When using cloud bursting to supplement traditional IT architectures, organizations have to find a way to solve this problem or risk incurring considerable costs and procedural challenges. But putting a database in the cloud from the start gives businesses the ability to leverage the full potential of the technology, allowing them to make better use of their data and optimize their IT setup.

Moving database infrastructure into the cloud can be challenging at times, especially when dealing with restrictive proprietary systems. However, implementing open source database systems within the cloud can unlock major benefits because open source is inherently flexible and adaptable, making it an ideal match with the cloud's core capabilities. By combining open source and cloud options, businesses can essentially enter a new generation of database capabilities, as the potential performance and efficiency boost is considerable if the technologies are matched well.