One of the more common use cases for cloud computing is the provisioning of additional capacity on demand to handle sudden spikes in additional application workloads. This is a critical capability because it means that instead of having to buy enough IT equipment to handle maximum application workloads, the IT organization can opt to deploy just enough IT equipment on premise to handle the average application workload on any given day. Most IT organizations only see a significant spike in application workload requirements a couple of days a month, so buying a lot of extra IT equipment just to handle those workloads is a waste of money.
This week, Hewlett-Packard, at the company's Discover 2011 conference in Vienna, rolled out a much-anticipated CloudBursting capability that the company has been developing, which allows spikes in application workloads to be dynamically moved to HP systems deployed to a cloud computing service running in a third-party data center.
HP has been testing CloudBursting with Savvis, a provider of IT services, for much of the last year. With the release of HP CloudSystem Matrix 7.0, the company's line of HP CloudSystem integrated servers, formerly known as BladeSystem Matrix, now support this CloudBursting capability.
According to Frances Guida, manager of HP cloud solutions and infrastructure, enterprise servers, storage and networking, HP is trying to deliver an out-of-the-box cloud computing experience that allows IT organizations to deliver the right service at the right time. CloudBursting, adds Guida, is really just another extension of HP's converged infrastructure strategy for reducing costs across the data center.
During a webcast that can found here, HP and Savvis detailed how the CloudBursting technology can be used to create a hybrid cloud computing environment that HP expects will become the dominant form of cloud computing in the enterprise.
While it's still early days in the march to cloud computing, it's pretty clear that internal IT organizations and third-party cloud computing service providers are going to be working more closely together than ever before. The challenge at this point might no longer be the technology, but rather putting the people and processes in place that actually make it happen.