Cloud bursting is a model in which the local resources of a Private Cloud are combined with resources from remote Cloud providers. The remote provider could be a commercial Cloud service, such as Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure or even OpenNebula based clouds. Such support for cloud bursting enables highly scalable hosting environments.


OpenNebula’s approach to cloud bursting is based on transparency to both end users and cloud administrators to use and maintain the cloud bursting functionality. The transparency to cloud administrators comes from the fact that an AWS EC2 region or an Azure location is modeled as any other host (albeit of potentially a much bigger capacity), so the scheduler can place VMs in the external cloud as it will do in any other local host.

On the other hand, the transparency to end users is offered through the hybrid template functionality: the same VM template in OpenNebula can describe the VM if it is deployed locally and also if it gets deployed in EC2, or Azure. Therefore users just have to instantiate the template, and OpenNebula will transparently choose if that is executed locally or remotely.

How Should I Read This Chapter

You should be reading this chapter as part of the Advanced Components Guide review of the OpenNebula advanced functionality that you are interested in enabling and configuring.

Within this chapter you can find a guide to configure and use the Amazon EC2 driver, the Azure driver and the OpenNebula driver. Additionally, there is support for IBM SoftLayer available as add-on (i.e. not contained in the OpenNebula main distribution) here.

Once the cloud architecture has been designed the next step would be to learn how to install the OpenNebula front-end.

Hypervisor Compatibility

All the Sections in this Chapter applies to both KVM and vCentre based OpenNebula clouds.