Three Questions an Organization Must Address Before Auto-Scaling

By CIOReview | Monday, December 17, 2018

Auto-scaling is a way to automatically add or reduce the number of computing resources that are being allocated to the company application based on its requirements at any given time. In a conventional dedicated hosting environment the company is limited by its resources and once the resources are entirely spent the company website is prone to sluggish performance or even crash. A website crash can cause data loss or potential business.

Cloud computing is a computer resource allocation game changer.  The company can launch additional compute resources on-demand if the application needs more power then obtaining more server space. The use of these resources is flexible as they can be used based on a time frame and be terminated when they are not required. The entire process enables organization flexibility and agile processing infrastructure.

What Needs Auto-scaling?

The organization may need auto-scaling in different areas such as central processing units (CPU), random-access memory (RAM) or even bandwidth. The first task before deploying auto-scale is to collect ample amounts of data regarding the current operational loads of these items. Some organizations use essential monitoring services, but still, it is better than an absent auto-scaling system. There are systems present in the market such as black box testing that permits an organization to weigh multiple elements through monitoring to determine the pitfalls. Other advanced systems provide word searching and metadata collection within a document or a digital framework. 

Other systems present in the market use pluses to measure processing data throughout a network, collecting data that gives critical insight. At present the evaluation of the data is manual, but before machine learning takes over the assessment part, all the layers of the application must be considered.

How Should You Auto-scale?

An essential fundamental concept to understand before deploying auto-scale is containers. Containers are made of small pieces of code that perform specific functions. They help an organization to get creative with the server space. However, containers can add a bit of complexity to the company servers. For instance, if a company can run 20 containers, but they require three more. Buying a new server with more containers is expensive since the new server will be mostly empty.

There are two ways to auto-scale – vertically or horizontally. Vertical auto-scale means adding more physical machines that scale up more gigabytes. While horizontal scaling includes a cloud-based solution, the business must know that not all aspects of an application will scale the same way.

When Should You Auto-scale?

It is impossible for an organization to predict a sudden spike in traffic. Therefore, the business decisions must be made mindfully to reduce the potential strain on the organization's architecture. The dilemma to determine the auto-scaling needs often comes down to CPU and Memory. Should the organization be ready to auto-scale based on when the site crosses a predetermined CPU load? Or should it be based on the memory running on your servers? Neither one of them is the right answer. The organization must be aim to strike the right balance between efficacy and uncompromisable user experience: the only way to achieve the stability to consider all the historical data points and their synergy with each other.