One Cloudbursting Button to Rule Them All

Michael Vizard
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In an ideal world, any application would automatically be able to scale by calling on external IT infrastructure resources in the cloud whenever necessary.

This concept, known as cloudbursting, is expected to be more widely invoked in 2012 as IT organizations move from cloud theory to actual deployment. The challenge, however, is that not every application supports cloudbursting and the capability itself is only provided by a handful of cloud computing service providers.


As part of an effort to overcome both those issues, GreenButton has created a software platform that allows software vendors to invoke cloudbursting services on any cloud computing platform that deploys the GreenButton software.

GreenButton CEO Scott Houston says the inspiration for creating GreenButton came as a result of his work as the CTO of the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy. During that multiyear project, it became apparent to Houston that the film company only really needed access to large amounts of compute power for specified periods of time. Rather than having to invest in that infrastructure, Houston says it became apparent that the film company would be better served by applications that could dynamically scale.

Today, GreenButton is making that software available to independent software vendors via an application programming interface. Houston says that software vendors that support GreenButton can include a "GreenButton" icon that tells them that they can easily invoke additional computing resources on platforms such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon EC2.

When it comes to cloud computing, most IT organizations at the moment are primarily interested in how to use cloud computing services to augment their existing IT infrastructure. Cloudbursting capabilities mean that IT organizations don't have to invest in additional hardware to provide capacity that is only going to be occasionally used. Longer term, it also means that IT organizations can "rightsize" their IT investments to meet average load requirements versus having to acquire all the IT infrastructure required to support maximum application workload requirements.

Houston says that the next step for GreenButton will be to provide customers with access to a series of self-service APIs that will make cloud computing even more transparent to the end user.

In the meantime, IT organizations need to start thinking about what their real on-premise IT infrastructure requirements are really going to be in 2012 given the fact that access to external cloud resources is about to become as easy as pushing a button.

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