A condition in which network activity rises suddenly for a short period of time. A burst is a transient elevation in network activity, and a network on which a lot of bursts occur is said to be «bursty».
Bursty networks have different bandwidth requirements than networks on which the traffic is steady, and they need to be designed accordingly.
For example, a network on which large video files are frequently transmitted tends to be bursty in its traffic flow.
A good first step in accommodating bursty conditions is to use Ethernet switches instead of hubs for concentrating your network connections.
Bursts can be indicative of a sudden increase in demand for network resources, or they can indicate hardware or software problems. Some networking components are capable of briefly sending data at speeds greater than normal transmission speeds; this is referred to as «operating in burst mode».