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Cloud Scalability Illustrated: Its Types, Benefits and More

what is cloud scalability
Peter Smith | Modified: 2021-10-18T11:04:48+00:00

Scalability of cloud environment is one of the biggest benefits of opting for cloud computing over an on-premise environment – but what is cloud scalability in cloud computing?

It’s important for growing businesses to understand technology options so they can make better decisions to scale their business. This article describes scalability meaning, what are its types, and how it can benefit your business.

What is Cloud Scalability?

Cloud scalability in cloud computing defines the ability to grow or diminish IT resources, power, and infrastructure for meeting business demands.

A scalable cloud environment permits organizations to increase or decrease resources such as – networking ability, storage space, processing power, servers, etc., – without disruption or downtime.

Unlike an on-premise environment where it takes weeks or months to scale physical infrastructure. Cloud scalability does this job in few minutes, as cloud computing service providers already have the infrastructure in place and organization just needs to use these nodes and servers to scale infrastructure.

Why Cloud Is Scalable?

Cloud virtualization functionalities make the cloud computing environment scalable. It becomes easy to increase or decrease resources because of the simplicity and flexibility offered by virtual machines (VMs).

An organization can easily scale up or down the resources as their business demands. But, self-implementing the scalability of the cloud can become quite costly. Because it’s difficult for businesses to have surplus resources and hardware on standby.

Whereas, cloud service providers already carries the necessary resource, hardware, and software to deploy them on demand.

How Cloud Scalability Is Different From Cloud Elasticity?

Cloud scalability and cloud elasticity often confuse most business organizations. While both the terms sound similar, their practice and roles are different.

Cloud scalability is scaling your business for long-term growth. Whereas, Cloud elasticity is a short-term burst to increase sales and traffic for the business.

Types of Scalability in Cloud?

For a better understanding of how cloud scalability works, it’s important to understand the type of scalable cloud architecture:

  • Horizontal Scaling:- Horizontal scaling is a process of expanding resources when requires higher storage space, better performance, and memory. To work on a single system, organizations can increase servers on their original cloud infrastructure. This type of scaling is required when your business needs higher service with minimal downtime. However, it is also complex than vertical scaling due to additional servers.
  • Vertical Scaling:- Vertical scaling is used when changes are needed in computing power such as RAM, processing capacity, storage. This type of scaling doesn’t require any code alteration, as only new resources are extended. However, vertical scaling can affect the performance because exceeding the server set limit (size and capacity) may often call for downtime.
  • Diagonal Scaling:- Diagonal scaling is the combination of horizontal scaling and vertical scaling. Using this process, an organization can grow vertically to the server’s limit and then perform server cloning for adding more resources as requires. This approach is quite reliable for businesses that constantly get unpredictable surges, as it offers flexibility while scaling up and down.

We cannot say that one type of scaling is better than another – it all depends upon the needs of businesses in the current time and in the future. However, it is best to scale strategically by growing or diminishing as the business demands.

Major Benefits of Cloud Scalability

  1. Rapid and Effortless – In just a few clicks IT Admin can effortlessly increase or decrease Virtual Machines (VMs). And, it doesn’t affect the service as well.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness – Adding and removing resources is highly cost-effective – organizations charge for what they use, no need to pay for unused resources.
  3. Better Performance – A scalable cloud architecture can deal with unpredictable increase or decrease in performance and traffic without wasting resources due to insufficient infrastructure.
  4. Capacity – The capacity increases as the business scales. By design, a scalable environment can handle growth and data requirements.

Why Do We Care?

By knowing about cloud scalability, its type, and benefits organization can scale their business to new heights. It helps organizations to easily plan and choose the right resources to scale up or down the resource as per business demand.