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Mukesh Kuiry
Mukesh Kuiry

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What is Horizontal and vertical scaling?

Hello πŸ‘‹ & welcome to the 2nd post 🧡 of System Design by @mukeshkuiry

Let's chat about a key system design concept! We're diving into "Horizontal and Vertical Scaling." πŸ“ŠπŸ“ˆπŸ–₯️

In simple terms, scalability πŸ—„οΈ refers to the ability of an application to handle the increased πŸ“ˆ traffic load without sacrificing latency.

The server should be powerful πŸ’ͺ enough to handle the increased workload.

There are mainly two ways to scale things up.

Horizontal scaling

Horizontal scaling, often known as "scaling out," is the process of increasing the number of nodes and machines πŸ–₯️ in the resource pool.

In simple terms, Imagine you have a bakery 🍰 and need more customers. Instead of making a bigger oven, you add more ovens to keep up with demand. This is like horizontal scaling!

Horizontal scaling allows for easier scaling through hardware additions, providing enhanced flexibility, πŸ“ˆ minimizing downtime, and offering redundancy. πŸ”„πŸ›‘οΈ

While the initial setup cost is higher πŸ’Ή and it's harder to maintain.

Vertical scaling

Vertical scaling, also known as "scaling up," is the process of increasing the existing system, such as CPU or RAM πŸ’½, to meet the rising demand.

Now, picture you have a computer πŸ’», and it's getting slow because you're running many applications. To make it faster, you upgrade its CPU and RAM. This is vertical scaling!

Vertical scaling offers low πŸ”» cost scaling, less complexity, and easier to maintain.

While it possesses more downtime πŸ“‰ possibilities, less flexible, and there is also a single point of failure ❌ .

Which one to choose?

Choosing the right scaling method depends on various factors:

β€’ Performance πŸš€: When dealing with computationally intensive tasks, vertical scaling is your go-to choice.

β€’ Cost πŸ’°: If you're on a tight budget, vertical scaling is the economical option, as horizontal scaling tends to be pricier.

β€’ Future-proofing 🌟: To boost your business performance and prepare for future growth, horizontal scaling is the way to go.

β€’ Flexibility 🧩: If expanding your codebase seems complicated, horizontal scaling offers greater flexibility.

β€’ Topographic distribution πŸ—ΊοΈ: For a nationwide user base, horizontal scaling is the way to go. But if your users are concentrated in a single city, vertical scaling may be the better fit.

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