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If a website gets overloaded with traffic, scalability enables providers to quickly expand capacity, reducing downtime to a minimum and bypassing the huge costs associated with it.
With more businesses choosing to use SaaS applications to streamline the flow of their business, the cloud computing market is anticipated to be worth $88.4 billion by the end of 2022. While most businesses understand the benefits that cloud computing can offer, only a few truly approach it with the right mindset. Some might ignore key security considerations when working with certain security teams.
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when embracing cloud computing is to ignore their future needs. With time your business will evolve, and new needs will arise. Catering to all these needs at the start of the entire cloud migration can be pivotal to creating a scalable business.
1. The Different Types Of Scalability
When talking about scalability, you will mainly have to compare vertical and horizontal cloud scaling. Here is a more in-depth comparison:
i. Horizontal Scaling
Horizontal scaling might be a little bit more complex than vertical scaling. You will typically need several servers to help you spread your load across various machines. In turn, this adds some form of complexity to your machines and your entire it strategy roadmap.
You will need to keep updates, cloud monitoring, and security in sync throughout the system. It can be especially effective in increasing traffic since this will cause more load onto your current cloud servers. Working with an organization that can help you balance this load across multiple servers is wise.
ii. Vertical Scaling
On the other hand, vertical scaling deals with increasing the power of the individual server. For instance, you can improve the speed by adding more memory, tweaking the processor, or improving cache time. In case of an increase in website traffic, you can easily rely on vertical scaling from your cloud company to ensure that your business continues to function optimally.
Not All Businesses Will Help You Achieve This
Both vertical and horizontal scaling doesn’t come cheap. For instance, vertical scaling will require the cloud vendors to boost the power of their current servers, while horizontal scaling might require them to change their server setup completely. Other than this being costly, it can also call for come labor and take some time to achieve.
Such a task is best preserved for cloud vendors that are financially stable and already well-established in the industry. While upcoming cloud companies can promise to help you reach your scalability goals, your main concern should be whether they can indeed deliver on their promises. Otherwise, you risk running your business while impaired in terms of reliability or security.
iii. Diagonal Scaling
Sometimes it might not be enough to follow a simple path of either scaling vertically or horizontally. With diagonal scaling, you scale your cloud needs vertically until the servers cannot take any more load. You will then need to clone the server to scale out (horizontally).
It can be pivotal to follow a horizontal scaling strategy. While your growth rate might seem rather obvious, surges can happen during the least expected moment. It will give your business the power to keep growing despite the hurdles that come with unexpected growth.
Here is the key role that scalability plays in choosing cloud vendors:
2. Increased Storage
While starting off, your business might only need a few terabytes of space to store all its data. However, more storage is needed as the business evolves. Storage will cater to critical customer data and host your key applications on the cloud.
Sadly, ignoring scalability in the initial stages of cloud computing adoption will leave you with the challenge of finding other cloud vendors if your current one doesn’t support your current storage needs. Such challenges can be averted if you have a well-outlined IT strategy roadmap. It can help offer insight into your business's expected growth and the kind of cloud vendors to look for.
3. The Versatility Challenge
The business world is an ever-evolving one with new technology and regulations coming up every day. For instance, a business running before the GDPR might need to embrace data masking to protect user information if it still needs to do business in the EU. While the cloud was designed to cater to such abrupt business changes, not all vendors might be as flexible as you think.
Ideally, you need to assess how well a vendor has responded to the recent industry changes. If you feel they can accommodate your business, then they are the business to work with.
4. Saving Costs
Compared to conventional data centers, the cloud is cost-friendly by all means. Deploying new applications and virtual machines and maintenance can be done at a fraction of the cost. On the other hand, it can assist businesses that run in highly volatile economic environments to upscale and downscale their business accordingly without incurring too many costs.
For instance, a business that has had a bad quarter can easily scale its cloud subscriptions downwards to eliminate the aspect of paying for resources that they no longer need. While this is the norm for most cloud vendors, not all will provide the necessary scalability capacity. Ideally, you need to assess your company’s ‘ceiling’ of growth and search for a business that will support this.
5. Increased Innovation Time
Maintenance and innovation will always be at loggerheads for the typical DevOps team. While you might want to introduce new application tweaks, your current system’s need for maintenance might reduce the effectiveness of launching these innovations. This effect is heavily felt in conventional data centers and data servers where IT teams need to troubleshoot network issues, among other problems.
While the cloud shifts this role to the cloud vendors, working with vendors who are ineffective at managing such aspects will impede your chances of growth. Ideally, you should look for vendors with a proven record of reliability and site uptime.
Flexibility is a trait that your business needs to promote its growth. Why not support your business growth aspirations with the right cloud vendor? Assess your current and future needs when vetting cloud vendors to ensure they can support your growth over the years.
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