Importance of Auto Scaling
Posted on:05 Jul 2019
What is auto scaling?
According to Techopedia‘s definition, auto scaling is a cloud computing feature that allows users to automatically scale cloud services, like virtual machines (VM) and server capacities, up or down, depending on defined situations. Cloud computing providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), offer this feature.
Here’s an easy way to understand what auto scaling means. When you’re at the supermarket and the checkout queues get too long, managers open new cash registers to manage the increasing crowd. Auto scaling applies this same logic to web servers.
How does auto scaling work?
When applying this concept to your website, your page’s loading speed is the determining factor for the user to stick around to gain information about your products or anything else that you may want them to see. Now if your website has a slow loading speed, the user may not stick around and that is a loss of a potential customer for you.
There is a good chance that as a website owner you may not be aware of this. You’ve probably deployed your budgets on creating digital posters, running social media campaigns, and other forms of online paid advertisements to attract click-throughs to convert visitors into buyers.
But remember, that an average user’s attention span today is limited. When they get intrigued by your ad and decide to check out the product on your website they will click on the link. In such a situation, when your website is at its maximum capacity of say 50,000 users, the web page will simply not load fast enough for the potential buyers. That is a bad return on investment and an overall loss for your business.
Will auto scaling feature help solve your problems during your website’s peak traffic?
The answer is yes.
When traffic piles up, auto scaling detects this load and commissions new servers for you from the cloud to spread the load. This significantly aids in improving your website’s reliability.
Cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) are increasingly providing the autoscaling feature owing to the unpredictable demand for cloud capabilities. AWS Auto scaling regularly monitors and adjusts compute resources to maintain the performance of the applications that are hosted on its public cloud.
What are the core components of auto scaling?
The main features of auto scaling include:
As a website owner, you can specify different instance types which permit to sync your resources to meet the needs of the app. These instances can be categorized into groups allowing them to be treated as a logical unit for the purposes of scaling and management.
- Scaling plans
Scaling plans instruct auto scaling on when and how to scale. For example, you can structure a scaling plan around certain conditions or according to a schedule.
- Launch configurations
A launch configuration contains information about instance type, AMI ID, security groups, key pair and block device mapping for the instances.
What are the benefits of auto scaling?
1. Fault alignment
Auto scaling detects when an instance is unhealthy, terminates it, and launched an instance to replace it. You can also configure your auto scaling to use multiple availability zones. So, if one availability zone becomes unavailable, your auto scaling can launch instances in another zone to compensate.
2. Cost management:
You only pay for the instances that you are using. Therefore, you cut down costs by not launching instances that are not being used.
3. Better availability
Auto scaling keeps track of all your application demands and it makes sure that your application has the right amount of capacity to answer high traffic needs as and when required.
4. Credit/debit card data storage
Auto scaling allows you to store, process, and transmit credit/debit card data by the merchant or the service provider. This feature is declared compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).
Launched in 2009, Auto-Scaling has emerged as a powerful feature for websites and applications to run an easily scalable infrastructure. This allows you to cater to the needs of your app and website automatically, irrespective of how it scales over the period of time. Auto-Scaling is commonly carried out through front-end site traffic scaling where, the scaling is done depending on the number of incoming requests and back-end batch processing where the scaling is based on load and time.
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