This brief blog post is to gain basic understanding of the cloud computing mechanisms cloud balancing and cloud bursting. These mechanisms are covered in module 2 (Cloud Technology Concepts) of the Cloud Certified Professional (CCP™) program.

Cloud Balancing
Cloud balancing is simply a form of dynamic routing whereby a request is routed to one of the several redundant IT resources located on different cloud environments. The main purpose of cloud balancing is load-balancing, increasing the performance, availability and reliability of IT resources beyond what can be guaranteed by a single cloud environment. Depending on the solution architecture, cloud balancing can be established by either redundantly deploying IT resources in advance explicitly or by configuring cloud environments to dynamically generate redundant instances of IT resources on-demand. Alternatively organization can use platform software to achieve this desired auto scaling. An example of such a platform is VAMP (Very Awesome Microservices Platform) developed by Magnetic, and it’s open source too!

In my opinion an organization should never rely on a single cloud provider but should always be cloud provider agnostic by introducing cloud balancing by (architecture) design. This implicates the use of industry and technology standards supported by a wide range of cloud providers. By using a software containerization platform like Docker organizations can easily build, ship and run distributed applications or integration solutions across different cloud environments independent of the cloud provider. Platform software like VAMP (Very Awesome Microservices Platform) makes this considerably easier to setup and integrates with all major container systems to avoid vendor lock-in.

Cloud balancing by deploying Docker containers across multiple cloud providers (Google, Amazon and IBM).

Cloud Bursting
Cloud balancing is simply a form of dynamic scaling whereby on-premise IT resources can scale out/burst into a pre-configured cloud environment. The main purpose of cloud bursting is load-balancing, increasing the performance, availability and reliability of IT resources beyond what can be guaranteed by on-premise IT infrastructure. These cloud based IT resources remain standby until a cloud burst occurs. After they are used and no longer necessary, they are released and return to standby. This flexibel scaling mechanism whereby the cloud consumer can continue to maintain on-premise IT resources and only uses cloud-based IT resources when required (during peak usage) can be a very interesting alternative for over-spending on on-premise IT infrastructure.

Cloud bursting can be also a very wise decision to avoid disaster scenarios mitigating the risk on for example hardware failures on the on-premise IT infrastructure. When using a software containerization platform like Docker, containers can be easily “shipped” to a cloud environment ready to become active after a cloud burst.