Do you want to achieve a growing online presence? Auto-scaling can help your business maintain a smooth-functioning website or web application.
Increased online traffic depends on a variety of factors. One critical factor is the ability to scale. Many businesses fail to provide a secure and reliable infrastructure, one that is responsive to user traffic patterns. Reports show that 88% of customers are unlikely to return to a website after a bad experience.
Experiencing downtime during peak hours could deal a death blow to your business. You can lose customers, boost bounce rates, and lower your search engine rankings. In short, a poor customer experience equals a commensurate loss in revenue.
Below is a helpful guide for ensuring that you achieve long-term growth by retaining loyal customers. You can also augment this by building online momentum with new customers using one of the most dynamic strategies available. Auto-scalability tools have evolved to the point that every business owner needs to take a second look.
Scalability is critical for proper website performance as well as unexpected challenges. It lets businesses achieve unhindered growth while ensuring flexibility, functionality, and a seamless overall experience to users consistently.
Scalability is the potential to adjust a system’s performance, functionalities, and storage to handle fluctuations in demand and usage easily. When there is an on-premise data center, scalability typically translates into adding more hardware, storage disks, and drives. This is time- and labor-intensive as well as expensive.
Manual static scaling is arduous and time-consuming for businesses. This is where auto-scaling forms part of the formula for a successful website and web application management.
Auto-Scaling in a Cloud Infrastructure
Cloud infrastructure has revolutionized the issues posed by on-premise applications. It offers scalability with little to no impact on an organization’s performance metrics. Reports suggest that in 2020, over 83% of global companies’ workloads are stored on cloud infrastructure. The benefits of cloud platforms are numerous, but the top two would be:
- Cost Management: Managing business expenditures on cloud platforms has become a vital part of every business. Cloud infrastructure is based on the on-demand needs of the client. It can provide elasticity in resources and infrastructure. Users are able to pay for what they need when they need it.
- Cloud Scalability: A critical consideration of cloud computing services is the ability to right-size based on actual demand. Cloud service providers offer a baseline of services from which the client can top-up or scale up depending on business requirements.
In contrast to manually adjusting system capacity, auto-scaling is the process of responsive allocation of resources based on usage patterns of web services. Having a fixed server use — daily, weekly, or yearly — has downsides. These include having too few or too many servers for handling traffic load. Too few servers lead to poor user experience and diminished functionality whereas too many servers translate into higher costs.
Autoscaling does away with this problem. It offers an elastic allocation of resources and servers to handle traffic spikes and traffic troughs. In the case of traffic spikes, an application may require additional resources to perform well. In the case of traffic troughs, these additional resources may need to be deallocated for cost optimization. Auto-scaling allows automation of these decisions regarding resource allocation. It allows for a robust and dynamic user experience.
How Auto-Scaling Works
Cloud auto-scaling makes use of the elasticity offered by cloud-based infrastructure. It also reduces the need to monitor manually the performance of a system and make decisions about resources. In this way, auto-scaling enables optimum performance as well as requisite levels of service.
You might be wondering how all of this is operationalized. The short answer is by setting out an auto-scaling strategy or policy. Any effective auto-scaling policy will include the following:
- Monitoring Mechanisms: These monitor metrics such as traffic, memory usage, and server utilization.
- Decision-Making Rules: This involves setting rules based on analyzing the metrics which are captured and making decisions based on the analysis for particular instances. For example, deallocation of servers at night-time when traffic is low.
- Auto-Scaling: The constituent components that scale the system.
- Feedback Mechanisms: Monitor and fine-tune the auto-scaling policy to ensure that it is functioning properly.
Middleware offers built-in auto-scaling mechanisms for common use case scenarios. Businesses can also opt to make custom implementations based on their requirements.
Planning for Growth and Surprises
In 2018, Amazon launched “Prime Day” by offering massive deals and discounts to over 100 million Prime members. However, Amazon’s website could not handle the surge in traffic. A few minutes into the sale, they were faced with a major issue that left users unable to checkout. This incident is said to have cost Amazon over $1 million per minute.
Similarly, with Flipkart’s launch of “Big Billion Day” in 2015, an unprecedented 1.5 million members decided to partake in the sale. This led to a major website crash. This happened despite Flipkart adding hardware and building up its data center capacity to deal with anticipated traffic from the Big Billion Day sale.
These episodes are good take-aways for businesses wanting to ensure robust auto-scalability to deal with massive traffic spikes. They showcase the potential that cloud auto-scalability holds.
The Power of Auto-Scalability
Auto-scaling delivers the following benefits:
- Reducing Costs: Auto-scaling automatically increases and decreases resources by load-balancing the business’ application infrastructure. This ensures resources are available and lowers costs.
- Simple Management: Auto-scaling tools offer businesses a consistent method for managing their resources. It avoids the need to continuously monitor metrics and make decisions.
- Automation: By automating auto-scale policies for your business’ website or web application, it makes it easier to distribute workload among different servers ensuring seamless functionality.
- Monitoring and Feedback Mechanisms: Auto-scaling offers real-time insights into what is happening at the backend while also ensuring that the application runs efficiently by making use of the elasticity offered by cloud-based platforms.
- Enhanced User Experience: By managing traffic efficiently by automated resource allocation, businesses can avoid poor user experiences.
One of the primary challenges of auto-scaling remains in defining upper and lower limits on resources and expenses. For example, if a company sets the lower limit too high, this may result in instances to continue running even when it’s not necessary and results in rising costs. For auto-scaling to work, it’s crucial to have reliable insight into how your application runs and what infrastructure is required.
Guard Against Outages and Reduce Costs
In today’s online world, industry and customer demands are unpredictable and volatile. Guard against losses by unlocking the potential of cloud-based auto-scaling. Doing so can ensure interrupted growth and gains for your business.