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Deploying The Best Scalable Practices For Cloud Applications

The power of cloud in meeting the demands of a business must be leveraged in a more proactive and efficient way in terms of both operations as well as costs

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Whether companies are envisaging to launch their first web application on cloud, migrating existing on-premise applications to cloud, or are concerned whether their application can continue to meet SLAs – using cloud without meaningful scalable strategies becomes pointless. It must be understood that building scalable cloud applications is not extremely difficult, but at the same time, requires cloud-specific scale strategies. The following practices may help companies get the best out of their cloud in terms of scalability. 

Employing auto scaling 

Auto scaling is offered by several cloud providers which helps manage resources and allocate load balances appropriately. It is defined as automatic scaling capacity either up or down depending on user-defined conditions. Businesses can ensure precision in the number of instances available to handle application load. 

The creation of a new instance or expansion of an existing one is triggered by auto scaling through IT defined specific policies or milestones. This removes the requirement to constantly monitor traffic and resources used by every application. Multiple policies can also be used for the same service or application to scale it up or down based on policies created, that are based on specific events. For instance, for applications that always see high usage at night and inversely low usage in the morning, schedule-based policies can be created to scale up the number of computing nodes in the evening and back down the following morning. In addition, auto scaling triggers can also be created for unanticipated events as well. 

Load Balancing 

Load balancers offer another automated scaling strategy by distributing workloads across various nodes to maximize resources. A load balancer accepts all incoming application traffic and thereon seeks the best instance for each incoming request for optimal resource utilization. 

For instance, when dealing with a surge in number of users or resource consumption, load balancing tries to balance workloads among all available nodes to equalize unused resources. In addition, they continually monitor the health of each instance for it to ensure that traffic is sent to only healthy instances. 

Containers with container orchestration 

Another strategy to create more scalable and portable infrastructure that is growing in popularity is the use of containers and container orchestration systems. Sharing a single kernel, containers are isolated from their surroundings and thereby limit issues to the single container as opposed to the entire machine. They require fewer resources while offering more flexibility than virtual machines because of their ability to share operating systems and other components. This allows containers to function in the same manner across platforms, and therefore be easily and rapidly moved between nodes. 

Containers becomes a powerful way to scale up certain microservices because of their ability to deploy large numbers of identical application instances with low usage of resources. In addition, container orchestration systems provide automated container management and coordination leveraging automated services, which allows containers stack to scale with significant ease. It is advisable to assess current applications to determine which of them are suited for containerization. 

In conclusion 

The power of cloud in meeting the demands of a business must be leveraged in a more proactive and efficient way in terms of both operations as well as costs. Harnessing suitable practices for scaling will inevitably allow businesses to grow with ease and agility.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Madan Ganesh

The author is Vice President of Product Innovation and Engineering group, NTT Com - Netmagic

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