Scalability challenges are normal for any business, especially when it comes to IT. Being able to respond quickly and efficiently to changes, such as rapid or seasonal growth, is what can give a business the opportunity to get ahead, to achieve a competitive advantage or secure a customer base. Cloud Services provide a myriad of opportunities for better handling of scalability challenges and ensuring that existing infrastructure is fit for purpose when it comes to growth.
Maintaining performance in the face of scalability challenges
Even with the most accurate and detailed planning it's still difficult to predict rates of growth, storage needs etc and this can cause some serious issues for any enterprise. When a workload reaches capacity it's essential to have measures in place to sustain performance and maintain efficiency to scale. Cloud Services enable businesses to acquire this essential agility, so as to be able to respond quickly to unexpected or seasonal changes with infrastructure that can adapt in a matter of minutes.
The options for scaling
- Scaling up. There are two ways in which scaling up usually occurs: adding more threads, connections etc into software on-premise or building more resources on to an existing system in the cloud. Resources, such as memory, storage or network are usually required in order to ensure that a system maintains a specific level of performance, perhaps in response to sudden change, such as a seasonal spike or a period of unexpected growth. These can be added quickly and simply in the cloud. As systems grow in this way they may be moved on to more powerful servers, something that will always be made clear to the customer. Scaling up can also happen on-premises in datacenters by adding more cache size, connections or threads. The key difference between these two options for scaling up is that scaling cloud services takes minutes where as on-premise systems can involve days or weeks of work.
- Scaling out. Scaling out - or horizontal scaling - is at the heart of the "pay-as-you-grow" model of infrastructure and service provision. It comes in two basic formats - hyper-converged infrastructure, which adds pre-packaged blocks of infrastructure or nodes, and a distributed service. There are cost benefits to opting for scaling out and there are also advantages to being able to scale individual pieces of IT architecture independently. As a result, scaling can take place at product level, as well as service level.
Scaling and Cloud Services
Perhaps the key benefit of Cloud Services for any enterprise comes from the cost savings that can be made by more enabling more efficiency when it comes to scaling. The opportunities that exist in seasonal spikes or rapid growth can be optimised when there is a flexible and supportive architecture able to respond swiftly to workload change.
Whatever your industry, Cloud Services could help to transform the way your business is able to respond to change, whether predictable or not. It could be the difference between staying stuck or moving on to greater things.
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