It all sounds great on paper: an integrated physical/virtual/cloud environment in which resources are spun up at the drop of a hat allowing enterprises to consume exactly what they need and not a bit more. In such a world, "cloud bursting" is as common as apple pie and CIOs never have to worry about over-provisioning or under-performing.
So far, though, the reality is a lot different. Enterprises are indeed becoming more agile and data environments more dynamic, but the idea of automatically bursting excess loads onto the cloud is still largely a myth.
For one thing, notes ZDNet's Manek Dubash, moving data from one set of resources to another still takes a fair amount of time. So if you want the flexibility to suddenly shift data spikes onto the cloud, you'll need to have things like applications, storage and bandwidth standing at the ready, which costs money. It's probably not as expensive as maintaining your own backup infrastructure, but it still represents a set of capabilities that you're paying for but not necessarily using.