Companies that use the cloud usually like it because that way, they don’t maintain any equipment themselves. They don’t have physical servers. They don’t need a place where they’ll keep them, cooling for that buildings, guards, or electricity.

Instead, they have the cloud, an entirely digital environment that handles the wavelength they need. They can satisfy customers using the cloud, and it expands and contracts with greater or lesser customer demand.

That’s what cloud scaling means. The cloud changes shape, expanding horizontally and vertically when you have less or more demand as a business.

Modern companies can use the cloud and its scaling capabilities and dominate their niches. Let’s explore how they do that right now.

How You Monitor Your Cloud Workload

If you have the cloud in place and you’re using it daily, you should notice the way your IT needs fluctuate. Even if you don’t have an IT background, you can comprehend the basics.

First, you have incoming requests. Clients or would-be clients reach out and want something from you. That’s some service that you provide. If you have many requests, that’s front-end traffic. Typically, you handle this, and the faster you do so, the better you satisfy your customers.

Next, you should notice how many jobs show up in your server queue. If you have many jobs lined up, that’s good, since it means you’re busy. However, if you have too many jobs and can’t handle them quickly, that’s problematic. You must satisfy customer demand fast, or these individuals likely won’t use your company again.

Finally, you must monitor how long each job remains in the queue. When this time gets longer, you risk customer anger. Again, you need speed, no matter what service you provide. Customers want fast order fulfillment.

These three factors make up your cloud workload. You can probably handle all three relatively easily with the cloud in place. Without the cloud, you would not have that vital expansion and contraction that makes up the overall term “cloud scaling.” It means your cloud’s flexibility as demand rises and falls.

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Seasonal Surges

You might see seasonal surges. If you have a sale, that may trigger one. You might also offer a service or product that more people want seasonally. Many companies have this business model.

When you have the cloud and you implement its scalability, you don’t need physical servers. However, you also don’t have resources that you’re not using when you don’t have so much demand.

This potentially matters even more. Can you imagine how much you’d spend if you had physical servers that you didn’t need? Before the cloud, this happened all the time.

Earlier, we mentioned renting or buying a building, having electricity powering those servers, having employees guarding them, etc. If you’re not using those servers, that’s all wasted money.

With the cloud, you only use the expanded bandwidth that your customers need when you require them. That’s part of why companies like the cloud-based model so much. There’s virtually no money wasted. The cloud expands and contracts, and when there’s very little demand, you’re not hemorrhaging money.

Clouds Also Have Expandability

You should also understand that clouds have scalability, but they also have elasticity. They sound similar, but they’re not precisely the same. We’ve discussed scalability. Elasticity means the cloud can expand in both directions.

Let’s say that you launch a promotion, and it goes viral. You will have a lot more customer interest. At that point, you can utilize the cloud’s elasticity. Scalability means what the cloud does for you over a longer time versus a quick, sudden demand influx.

The Cloud Also Has Both Horizontal and Vertical Scaling

Modern companies also use cloud scaling because it can go both horizontal and vertical. We mentioned that before, but we have not broken it down. Let’s do that right now.

Horizontal scaling means that instead of using a single server when you build, you can scale outward. You can add servers, so they’re part of your infrastructure. They can also operate as a unit.

With vertical scaling, you’re adding resources to the existing server instead. When you do this, you usually need some additional processing power. Your IT department will call that your RAM usage.

With horizontal scaling, you’re improving both your resiliency and performance. You’re using parallel resources. You’re getting more integrated failover and capacity.

With vertical scaling, you can expand one server and get more from it, so you don’t need any additional coding. That will certainly save you some time. You will also have fewer nodes so that you can process communication with fewer steps or potential complications.

What About Any Downsides?

Horizontal and vertical scaling will certainly help you, and they make scaling so attractive. However, they do have some minor drawbacks that we should mention.

With vertical scaling, you can’t expand indefinitely. You will reach a limit, and then, you can expand no further. Physical server resource limits will cause this if you have a private cloud. If you have a public one, then you’ll run into VM size limits.

As for horizontal scaling, when you do that, you’re adding more servers. If you do so, you have some additional complexity. With more new servers, you must reconfigure your entire architecture.

You have these drawbacks, but when you stack them up against what a cloud can do for you, they’re relatively minor. Most companies have no problems with them when you consider all the other crucial things the cloud can do.

Cloud scaling can change your business’s capabilities. Since you’re saving money and getting more flexibility, you can restructure your entire organization from the ground up.

You can have your IT department tackle other assignments since they won’t maintain your physical servers. You can allocate the money you’re saving toward expanding into a national or even an international market. You can also put more money toward product research and development and creative new ad campaigns.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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