No wonder those well-known to cloud, might be knowing that scaling is the distinctiveness of the cloud. Basically scaling is of two types – vertical and horizontal scaling. But most of you aren’t quite aware about what do they really mean? In a dynamic environment, business applications can succeed only with scalability. When it comes to satisfying the demands of business processes across multiple platforms and computing architectures, horizontal and vertical scaling play a key role in this.
So, let’s understand what does horizontal and vertical scaling mean?
Horizontal Scaling –
Horizontal is something that is parallel as per the basic understanding. In terms of cloud, it means including additional servers to your business application to balance the load equally. In simple terms, it can be moving your database onto a separate machine from your web server. With this the web server can complete the requests and database server can crunch the data. While dealing with traffic on your website, your applications need to scale up wider and this is what horizontal scaling helps. It enables multiple entities of hardware and software like the servers in order to let them work as an independent logical unit. It may take few hours or may be more than that to implement after noticed.
Let’s imagine a two lane express way which is capable for handling approximately 2,000 vehicles. But as the commerce expands, there is an increase in the number of buildings as well as vehicles. Therefore, there is a traffic jam when rush. To eliminate the problem of accidents and traffic jam the express-way can be scaled horizontally by constructing additional lanes and maybe adding an overpass which would take some time. Similarly, this is applicable to horizontal cloud scaling in which you include additional machines to your environment.
Vertical Scaling –
Vertical scaling means adding some zest to the machine on which application is running on. When your business expands, your traffic to the website also grows and at some point of the time your website starts to creak. One common to boost your applications is by adding extra RAM, processors and bandwidth or storage to your machine. Vertical scaling is best for the applications running on a single machine. It can significantly help in resizing your servers without any change to the code. In short, it is the ability to improve the existing hardware’s or software’s capacity by adding resources.
For instance in an apartment building, that has around 100 flats available which aren’t occupied all at a time. When more people come the apartment will scale vertically. Everyone would get at least some space as long as the 100 flats capacity isn’t exceeded. This is what is implemented in your cloud environment, you can add as much hardware to the existing machine but only to the capacity of your actual machine.
Also, at bodHOST we offer vertical scaling with our innovative product – ‘eNlight’. An example of how eNlight has helped our customer in scaling vertically is here. A global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing of advanced networking, broadband, digital, voice and data communications solutions is head-quartered in Taiwan. This company was going through service availability and latency issue at their previous service provider. The company was looking for a service provider that would understand their business requirements and expert in making their website available with maximum 10ms latency between their Indian corporate office and our datacenter. They opted for eNlight cloud which offered high availability of web application, network services with maximum 10ms latency with a commitment of 99.95% uptime. eNlight also resolved the issue of handling sudden spikes in resource requirements and reduced the overall cost of server hardware and other applications.
Ultimately, which scaling strategy would your choose? No doubt both are useful. With the applications that can scale only vertically and can only be run on a single server give you clear choice of the strategy. But applications those are written well are capable of scaling horizontally with ease. Applications that are designed to scale horizontally can be scaled vertically as well. So, now it’s your choice whether to scale horizontally or vertically.