Browse Definitions:
Definition

burstiness

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Burstiness is a characteristic of communications involving data that is transmitted intermittently -- in bursts -- rather than as a continuous stream. 

A burst is a transmission involving a large amount of data sent in a short time, usually triggered as a result of some threshold being reached. When bursts are a repeated, dependable behavior in some type of transmission, the subject in question is said to exhibit burstiness.

The tendency for communications to be bursty is an important factor in the design considerations of the hardware manufacturers make for these communications. For example, a large supply of fast RAM can replaced by lower cost memory with a cache, saving money while potentially having little to no effect on the user experience.

Burstiness is sometimes caused by the nature of the data being communicated. Ethernet, for example, is inherently bursty. Computer architectures that rely more heavily on cache than sustainable bandwidth are typically bursty as well, showing much higher bandwidth until the cache is exhausted and data must be retrieved from sources outside the hardware where the chip resides. Mp3 players have often combined slower storage with a faster cache this way. This type of architecture can prove ineffective if cache memory often fails to contain the desired information.

This was last updated in March 2015

Continue Reading About burstiness

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

How well I remember the early days of streaming services like RealPlayer and how the inability to keep sync'd would cause devices to freak out and flood portions of the network. Cisco's cache and content engines came out about that time, and I actually used RealPlayer and other services in the late 90s as ideal test platforms :).
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

  • adware

    Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while a program is running.

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • data migration

    Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems.

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close