One of the major benefits of building a cloud-based infrastructure is the ability to scale quickly. There are three basic scaling scenarios that businesses face.
Netflix is an extreme example of the need for reactive scaling, but the same principle applies to many businesses. The need to scale rapidly in both directions over short timescales is a difficult problem, but it’s a problem that is much more soluble with IaaS infrastructure deployment.
The rapid scaling capabilities of IaaS platforms have many different use cases, including:
On its own, the ability to scale quickly is a strong driver of enterprise cloud adoption, but real power lies in the programmatic potential of IaaS. Because cloud deployments are basically software-driven and abstracted from the physical hardware, almost every aspect of a cloud platform can be exposed via an API. The API gives businesses the ability to develop applications and scripts to tailor their cloud’s behavior, including its scaling behavior.
Automated scaling allows a company’s cloud to expand or contract as demand changes. Companies can leverage metrics to track usage patterns within their cloud and, via the API, dynamically adjust their resource deployments.
Being able to autoscale in accordance with chosen metrics can have a powerful influence on the cost and efficiency of infrastructure deployment. Obviously, if deployment can track usage in real time, the risk of having idle infrastructure is significantly reduced, and because on cloud platforms users only pay for resources they use, costs can more accurately track business operations than is possible with physical hardware deployments. The flip side of that coin is that without sufficiently speedy infrastructure deployment, business opportunities can be lost because of performance degradation and poor availability. Being able to automatically scale up when a traffic spike hits or user demand increases unexpectedly is equally important.
In the modern business world, it’s crucial that companies are able to modify their infrastructure deployments in line with demand. Automatic scaling and the application programming interfaces that enable it are a killer feature for enterprise cloud users.