Why Cloud computing scalability matters for business growth

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In the first quarter of 2020 cloud spending rose 37% to $29 bn, reports PwC in one of their recent findings. The trend that moved steadily to 2021, for both businesses and their customers are benefiting from scalability, security, and flexibility that comes with going off-premises. Among the numerous virtues of the cloud, cloud computing scalability is one of the main. It helps companies adapt to unforeseen change swiftly and most importantly without affecting their customers. Cloud computing scalability is actually a lot closer than you might think. With the extra load put on Cloud due to the pandemic, it is thanks to the scalable infrastructure that we were able to switch to working, studying, or getting a fair share of our entertainment from home without any interruptions.  

A system that lacks scalability is vulnerable to any unprecedented events and what 2020 has taught businesses big or small is that they can’t afford it. Here’s how scalability in cloud computing is related to business success.   

What is scalability in cloud computing and how it affects business scalability?   

In business, scalability is the ability to grow and withstand the pressure of developing or increasing production without being held back by such factors as structure or resources. A system that scales well can cope with a larger workload and at the same time maintain or improve its effectiveness.  

Similarly, from the cloud computing perspective, scalability means the ability to either increase or decrease the number of infrastructure resources needed to sustain the growing or decaying customer demand.   

Scalability, being one of the main advantages of cloud computing, is also something that makes it especially appealing and popular with businesses. Cloud’s innate ability to scale up or down, in turn, affects business scalability as well. For it allows you to increase your existing resources to match your growing needs. Thus, allowing you to grow without having to invest in expensive changes in your IT infrastructure.  To put it in simple words, if your business lacks scalability, you start losing money the minute everyone wants your services, which sadly you can’t deliver. Or in the opposite scenario – when you’ve invested in the infrastructure no one’s using. Cloud computing scalability means your users trigger the growth of your infrastructure. If there’s no need to grow, you save money by scaling down.  

In order to understand how you can fully leverage the scaling potential on cloud computing, let’s try and discuss the main types of scalability. 

Traditionally, there are two main scenarios of scaling, that differ in the way they approach adding resources to the existing infrastructure:  

  • Vertical scalability, or scaling up or down, is the increase of the capabilities of your server by adding extra resources, such as memory, storage, processing power. Vertical scaling enhances the server without altering the code but at the same time, it can only go as far as the size of your server. It is easy to implement, reduces software costs, and is savvy in other aspects, such as licensing fees, power consumption. On the downside, vertical scaling, as stated above, is pretty limited, and has a greater risk of outages and hardware failures.   

              MySQL and Amazon RDS are examples of vertical scaling.   

  • Horizontal scalability, or scaling out or in, is enhancing the performance of the server by adding more processing units or instances of a server to the existing pool of servers. So instead of changing the capacity of an individual server, with horizontal scaling the load on the server is being reduced and equally distributed. It is achieved via a distributed file system, clustering, and load balancing. Horizontal scaling is widely used by giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.   

             Cassandra and MongoDB are examples of horizontal scaling.  

Additionally, in terms of how cloud scalability is achieved, there are three main ways: manually, automatically, and by scheduling.   

  • Manual Scalability presumes collecting the app performance feedback manually and scaling based on the information gathered. This can be done in mere seconds and sounds pretty straightforward. However, the downside is that in this case, your app requires a close inspection as you will need to react instantly to avoid any UX malfunction.   
  • Automatic Scalability makes a suitable option if the spikes occur gradually. It takes into consideration such important metrics as CUP, memory, and disk usage, as well as queued requests and scales in the needed direction.   
  • Scheduled Scalability presumes that the increase in demand can be predicted and by scheduling scaling you can stay ahead of any issues. But be prepared for unforeseen situations and be sure to have a backup plan for these events.  

What means scalable cloud computing 

So what does it mean a scalable cloud solution? Here are key features:   

  • Adjustable storage – the first and most essential, scalability in cloud computing means both either increased or decreased storage which is crucial for any growing business. It can use cloud computing as a way to adapt its storage to the current needs but also be safe in the knowledge that if the business expands or needs to roll back, data storage can be easily adjusted.   
  • Fast deployment – both when it comes to development, testing, and updating security. For businesses, this faster speed of deployment allows them to respond quickly to growing business needs and keep the infrastructure up-to-date.   
  • Effective IT operations usage that is possible with cloud computing consequently leads to minimal downtime. Since scaling is about adding rather than substituting the resources, it can be done with minimum downtime which is always good news for the user experience of your app.   
  • Fairly easy implementation – with relatively little or no inventory at all, scalability is pretty easy to implement and with no delay in services, which is also an important feature for companies that are planning to grow.   
  • More freedom – with cloud computing you can easily adapt and adjust your infrastructure to the changing business environment without being tied to outdated resources and equipment. This feature is especially valuable to the growing businesses that can be sure that their infrastructure is up-to-date and ready for new challenges. 

Cloud computing scalability benefits  

A lot has already been mentioned about the numerous virtues of scalability in cloud computing, but let’s summarize what you can expect and how cloud scalability advantages translate for your business and customers:  

  • It supports a better user experience   

As already been stated above, scalable architecture is crash-proof when it comes to a sudden increase or decrease in traffic. In the light of such events. It can react accordingly without any fallback or compromising the user experience of your app.  For example, powered by Salesforce and cloud computing, our client in the banking industry was able to maintain a superior level of customer relationships and even increase the use of their bank services.  

  • It’s a time and cost-saving solution   

Cloud computing doesn’t require large upfront investments in costly equipment, you are only paying for what you’re using. This approach not only saves resources but eliminates risks that come with rapid growth. Moreover, in many cases configuring additional infrastructure takes a couple of clicks and is available immediately. In the bigger picture, this cost and time-saving approach is also an investment in your business growth, as you can spend your time, money, and efforts on business-critical aspects instead.   

  • It increases time to market, flexibility, and adaptability  

The time-efficient benefit that comes with scalability also means faster time to market, more room for flexibility and adaptability, as adding new resources doesn’t take as much time as it used to. For instance, using cloud development for Vivino application, we were able to increase its growing database of wines and users by scaling up fast and easily.   

  • It helps to avoid costly migration thanks to hybrid Cloud 

Scalability helps serve your growing business needs and increased workloads. If yours is a legacy product built with traditional, non-Cloud approach, you can opt for the hybrid cloud to start improving your infrastructure agility. This means shifting variable loads to the Cloud, in order to have reliable scaling capabilities, while high-security and compliance-depended workloads can be left on-premises. 

  • It offers effective disaster recovery  

Traditional disaster recovery entails building a secondary data center site to store copies of critical data which later will require maintenance and support. This on-premises approach to disaster recovery and data protection is more time-consuming, not to mention expensive. While cloud computing offers a more effective way of dealing with this problem. First of all, you don’t need to build any secondary site or investing in equipment. The only thing you’ll need is a device with an internet connection and you can perform disaster recovery in a matter of minutes. And with a pay-as-you-go pricing model, you will only be paying for the cloud computing services you use.  

Conclusion  

Cloud scalability is a lot closer than you might imagine. It’s there when you update your Google storage plan or decide to stock up on your favorite T-shirts during sales without running into a crashed website. For businesses that are data-drive, operate, and heavily rely on data scalability is one of the deciding factors of opting for cloud-native application development that when executed wisely, reaps a bountiful harvest. Contact us and our team of cloud experts will help you get the most of the Cloud.   

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