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Horizontal and Vertical Scaling in Cloud Solutions

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In this world of cloud, one of the biggest features is the ability to scale. You can scale your servers in two ways: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal scaling involves adding more servers, whereas vertical scaling involves altering the resources of a specific server, for example increasing the server size.

When your application is running, you don’t have the same number of users all the time. During an event the number of users can grow up and the load on the server increase. If too many requests are done on your server at the same time, the response time will increase and could slow down your website.

To avoid this problem and keep a fast website, the main solution is to deploy scalers for your application to support the load. That’s what scaling is: adapting automatically the number of scalers and their size to fit the load of your application, without any action from you.

Scalability is the core reason that a lot of companies are moving to cloud hosting. Scalability is the capacity of a system to expand from existing configuration for handling increasing amount of load. The scaling strategies are divided into two major categories and these are Horizontal Scaling (a.k.a. scaling out) and Vertical Scaling (a.k.a. scaling up).

The heart of the difference is the approach to adding computing resources to your infrastructure. With vertical scaling, you’re adding more power to your existing machine. In horizontal scaling, you get the additional resources into your system by adding more machines to your network, sharing the processing and memory workload across multiple devices.

Let’s understand how one is different from another with easy examples!

When your business grows at the same time traffic also grows, so the responsibility of your server gets increased! In order to reduce this responsibility what we can do is, we can add one more server with the same capacity along with the existing server. Now, these two servers can handle the traffic effectively. This is known as horizontal scaling. Here we didn’t change the capacity of an individual server rather we decreased the load by spreading it to another server. Basically, horizontal scaling means enhancing the performance of a server by adding more

In same way, as the business grows your website gets more traffic. Due to high traffic generation, the server performance starts degrading. To deal with the heap you have to scale the assets by including CPUs/ Processors, RAM, plate limit and so on. So in this case, if you are using vertical scaling strategy then you need to enhance the capabilities of the same server which can handle the load properly.

To summarize, I would say that vertical scaling generally refers to purchasing and installing a more capable central control or piece of hardware. Whereas horizontal scaling refers to linking together other machines to collectively do the work of a much more advanced one.

Horizontal scaling is almost always more desirable than vertical scaling because you don’t get caught in a resource deficit. Instead of taking your server offline while you’re scaling up to a better one, horizontal scaling lets you keep your existing pool of computing resources online while adding more to what you already have. So when your app is scaled horizontally, you have the benefit of elasticity.

Hope, the article was helpful and do share your thoughts about horizontal and vertical scaling in cloud solutions.

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Horizontal and Vertical Scaling in Cloud Solutions. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from
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