What is Cloud Scalability?
For storing and deploying their data, businesses are now turning to cloud technologies. As the needs of business change, cloud computing offers the capacity to accommodate this data growth. Scalability is one of the benefits provided by Cloud. Regardless of the size of your business, cloud-based storage, data protection, and costs are all scalable to everyone.
Before the world was introduced with cloud computing, managing and maintaining the storage required a lot of investment and data centers from companies. But with cloud, you do not have to worry about maintaining the physical space for storing data and hardware, everything can be migrated to the cloud without any issue. Thus, creating a scalable and cost-effective option for businesses to grow.
In this article, we will focus on what is cloud scalability, different types of scalability, benefits, key features, how to determine cloud scalability, and best practices for maximizing cloud scalability.
What is cloud scalability?
One of the key features of cloud computing is the cloud scalability which refers to the ability of increasing and decreasing the IT resources as per the changing business requirement. It is the tendency of the cloud to expand or shrink as the business demands changes and helps in accommodating the business data accordingly.
A good cloud provider that helps in scaling the data storage, processing power, and the networking using the cloud computing infrastructure. Scaling can be implemented seamlessly and efficiently without giving you any downtime or impacting the performance of your business. If you go for the third-party cloud providers, then you will get all the facilities in place. Unlike traditional computing, scaling the physical infrastructure will take months and huge investment. Cloud computing saves you from this burden and makes working enjoyable.
Different types of Cloud Scaling
There are three types of cloud scaling- vertical, diagonal, and horizontal. Here, we will discuss them in detail.
- Vertical scaling – you can also refer to it as the up/down scaling. In this type of scaling, you are allowed to add more resources to your existing operations that will help in managing the increasing workload. In this case, you won’t have to worry about modifying the code. It is simply the upgrading of the VMs to larger ones that resizes the capabilities. There is only one limitation with this type of scaling, which is that you may not be able to increase the capacity according to the size, so you may have performance issues at some point.
- Horizontal scaling- with this type of scaling, you can enjoy high performance along with the storage and management facilities. You can also refer to this type of scaling as out/in scaling. This allows you to add nodes to your existing infrastructure. Increasing the number of nodes will help in managing the increased workload and reduce the latency.
- Diagonal scaling – this refers to the combination of both vertical and horizontal scaling. This provides the flexibility of adding more resources as per your changing requests within specified time. Whenever you face the traffic hikes, it will scale accordingly and whenever there is a downfall in traffic, the configuration will change accordingly.
What are the key features of Cloud Scalability?
We have mentioned below the key features of cloud scalability.
- It allows you to grow and shrink the cloud infrastructure accordingly as per the changing business requirement.
- Scalability cannot be used for small changes. It refers to adding a significant amount of users or data to the cloud.
- Scaling cannot be used for replacing. It means adding or removing the resources to the existing deployment. For example, if we switch to Office 365 as Google Apps could not provide you enough support is not considered as scaling. But if you consider adding seats to the Google Apps deployment whenever you grow that is considered to be scaling.
- Scaling with cloud solutions is relatively fast as compared to the traditional way of setting the hardware physically.
- Cloud offers easy scalability making things easier and efficient to work in the changed environment.
Benefits of Cloud Scalability
Below we have mentioned benefits of cloud scalability
- With cloud scalability, you will be able to deploy thousands of servers, services, and resources with a single click without having any downtime.
- With cloud scalability, you will be able to deploy your applications even faster as you will have more resources allocated to your cloud to handle all of its workload.
- With cloud scalability, you do not have to worry about adding or removing the required resources as everything is managed with a single click, and if you face any issue then you will get a dedicated IT team helping you through it.
- With cloud scalability, you will be able to rebuild the IT team in just a few hours as you just have to add new servers and applications.
- You can enjoy a new level of flexibility using cloud scalability as it gives you enough resources, tools, and services to be run and deployed on the cloud.
- Even if you want to migrate from one cloud platform to another, you can do it within hours and you can even get the same level of scalability as you had on your previous systems.
- It allows you to save a lot of infrastructure costs. You only have to pay for what resources and services you have been using.
Determining Optimal Cloud Scalability
As your business demands change, so will your scalable cloud solution. It is up to you to decide by what amount you want to scale your storage, memory, processing power, and other resources, and whether you are looking to scale up or down.
Performing ongoing performance testing is important to determine the right size of a solution. Various factors such as response time, number of requests made, CPU load, and memory usage should also be considered and measured. Scalability for an application’s performance can also be determined by measuring its ability to scale up and down according to changing requirements.
If you implement automation, it will also help in optimizing cloud scalability. It allows in determining the thresholds for the usage of resources that helps in triggering the automatic scaling without impacting the performance of the application. You can even use the third-party configuration management tools for helping and managing the scaling requirements.
Best Practices for Enhancing the Cloud Scalability
With the cloud, you can experience a faster way of allocating, moving, and stooping resources. Whenever there is a spike or downfall in the application or service, the cloud will dynamically scale up or down as per the changing business requirement. Having great scalability will help to boost your business to a new level and make profits. We have mentioned some ways that will help in getting the most out of your cloud in terms of scalability.
Most of the cloud providers help in auto-scaling which will help in managing the resources and allocating the load balances correctly. Auto-scaling refers to the situation when the resources will get automatically scaled up or down whenever there is a change in request by the user. It ensures that enough resources are there at their disposal to meet the changing demands and to manage the increased load on your application.
For this, you have to define some policies, rules, and regulations that will trigger the creation of new instances automatically or expand the existing instance, or remove the unwanted instance to handle and monitor the incoming traffic. You can even define multiple policies for the single service based on some events. Suppose, you know that your website will be getting more requests in the daytime, then you will define a policy to scale at that time automatically.
Use Load balancing
Using load balancers will also ensure another automatic way of scaling the distributed workloads that are present across various nodes for maximizing the resources. Load balancer will take all the incoming requests and then distribute it accordingly for better management and utilization of the resources and direct those requests to the specific instance for processing and sending back the response accordingly.
It is beneficial during spikes in incoming requests since it cleverly distributes the requests to various instances, preventing resource waste and ensuring that resources are used appropriately. Load balancers monitor the instance health continuously to ensure traffic is directed to the healthy instances.
Implement Containers with container orchestration
Today containers and orchestration systems are gaining more popularity for creating more scalable and portable infrastructure. They package a specific application along with its dependencies and related files for running that package as an individual unit without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. An orchestration system helps in managing such containers on a large scale. Handling thousands of containers running on a single infrastructure is difficult thus we require an orchestration system of their management.
With Containers, you will be able to deploy several identical application instances along with the low use of resources to allow them to scale efficiently. With Container orchestration systems like Docker Swarm, Amazon ECS, and Kubernetes you can automate the process of management and coordination of containers offering services like auto-replication (similar to auto scaling) allowing container stacks to scale.
You might have a scalable cloud environment, but is the application you wish to deploy scalable? By implementing the right testing process in place, this scenario can be checked. It is a good idea to test your application’s scalability to prevent any problems in the future. You should take some time after deploying the application to test the scalability of that application.
Scalability is one of the major features of the cloud. Every type of cloud tends to offer great scalability whenever there is an increase in the requests. Cloud helps in managing the hike in requests by enhancing the scalability of the infrastructure. You can implement any type of scalability as per your project requirement. Here we have mentioned its benefits, key features and how you can determine the optimal cloud scalability. It will help in managing resource usage by distributing the incoming traffic to the right instance of the node. Make sure you leverage the scalability feature of the cloud efficiently for better results.