Horizontal Or Vertical Scaling

How Should Your Site Scale?

We explore the differences between horizontal and vertical scaling

It’s great when your Magento or Shopware Site sees massive unexpected traffic spikes, but we often find ourselves unequipped to deal with it. It’s crucial  to understand the differences between horizontal and vertical scaling.

What Is Scalability?

Scalability describes a system’s elasticity. While we often use it to refer to a system’s ability to grow. We can scale down, scale up, and scale out accordingly.

Your eCommerce sites success hinges on the amount of network traffic it receives and the amount of successful transaction you can complete. Good scalability protects you from future downtime and ensures the quality of your service.

But what options do you have when it comes to implementing scaling and ensuring your business’s scalability? That’s where horizontal and vertical scaling come in.

What Is Horizontal Scaling?

Horizontal scaling  refers to adding additional nodes to your infrastructure to cope with traffic spike. If your eCommerce site no longer has the capacity or capabilities to handle traffic, adding a server may be your solution.

What Is Vertical Scaling?

Vertical scaling is adding additional resources to a system so that it meets demand. How is this different from horizontal scaling?

While horizontal scaling refers to adding additional nodes, vertical scaling describes adding more power to your current machines. For instance, if your server requires more processing power, vertical scaling would mean upgrading the CPUs. You can also vertically scale the memory, storage, or network speed.

Disadvantages Of Vertical Scaling

  • Higher possibility for downtime – Unless you have a backup server that can handle operations and requests, you will need some considerable downtime to upgrade your machine.
  • Single point of failure – Having all your operations on a single server increases the risk of losing all your data if a hardware or software failure was to occur.
  • Upgrade limitations – There is a limitation to how much you can upgrade a machine. Every machine has its threshold for RAM, storage, and processing power.

Advantages Of Horizontal Scaling

  • Scaling is easier from a hardware perspective – All horizontal scaling requires you to do is add additional machines to your current pool. It eliminates the need to analyze which system specifications you need to upgrade.
  • Fewer periods of downtime – Because you’re adding a machine, you don’t have to switch the old machine off while scaling. If done effectively, there may never be a need for downtime and clients are less likely to be impacted.
  • Increased resilience and fault tolerance – Relying on a single node for all your data and operations puts you at a high risk of losing it all when it fails. Distributing it among several nodes saves you from losing it all.
  • Increased performance – If you are using horizontal scaling to manage your network traffic, it allows for more endpoints for connections, considering that the load will be delegated among multiple machines.

Traditionally you would need to add Physical dedicated servers to create a cluster, this is expensive and a wasteful fixed cost, With KubeGrid servers you can scale out horizontally and scale back in when demand dictates and only pay for what you need. Big traffic spike from Social, TV, Press or just Peak – no problem!

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