Scaling Up vs. Scaling Out: Choose What’s Right for Your Business
Scaling Up vs. Scaling Out Strategies with Seagate
Somewhere right now, a company needs help to keep up with its increasing data volume. It might be a healthcare company juggling healthcare records, an insurance institution storing information for risk analysis, or any other industry. When companies reach this point, they begin to consider expanding. And there are two pathways: scale-up vs. scale-out storage.
Let’s explore how to choose the suitable method, the best practices for building scalable data infrastructure, and the products and services offered by industry-leading data storage solutions provider Seagate Technology.
Exos systems are high-performance storage systems designed by Seagate to deliver large-scale storage capacity, high reliability, and fast data transfer rates. They’re an ideal choice for various applications, whether data centers, cloud storage, or high-performance computing.
Exos uses advanced technologies to provide high-density storage solutions. Think helium-filled drives, multi-actuator technology, high-capacity data storage drives, you name it. They offer fast transfer rates and low latency to deliver high performance, but companies can also scale up or down easily as their business and technology needs change. So, what does this look like in real life? Here’s what you need to know.
Exos systems can play a crucial role in building the right data center for a company’s needs. These high-density data storage solutions offer efficiency and, even more important, reliability. Companies can leverage these characteristics to create highly scalable foundations for a data center’s infrastructure.
The real benefit lies in logistics. Exos systems can store vast amounts of data using a relatively small physical footprint, giving companies more flexibility in design. Exos systems are also highly resilient and can handle heavy workloads, making them ideal for use in data centers where uptime and availability are essential.
An effective IT architecture must scale with the organization’s needs to handle future growth and expansion. Ideally, a company should choose an architecture flexible enough to accommodate evolving technology and business requirements without requiring a complete overhaul. Companies manage these goals through one of two methods: vertical scaling or horizontal scaling.
Understanding the differences between these two approaches can help IT professionals choose the proper Exos storage for their specific needs.
The scale-up approach, also known as vertical scaling, involves adding resources such as memory, CPU cores, or storage capacity to a single server or system. The goal of scale-up storage is to improve the performance of a single system to handle larger workloads.
If performance is the primary goal, improving an existing server or system can be more cost-effective than adding multiple systems to a network. It can achieve faster response times and better application performance and is also ideal for applications requiring large amounts of memory, such as databases or analytics tools.
Imagine a financial institution that requires real-time transaction processing for many clients. Since this is a mission-critical application, the company may opt to scale up an existing server by adding more CPU cores and memory to handle the increased workload. The application will run more smoothly and meet the customer demands without requiring additional hardware or significant changes to their existing infrastructure—saving time and money.
The scale-out approach, also known as horizontal scaling, involves adding more servers, storage devices, or other resources to a network to increase a network’s capacity to handle more workloads.
Scale-out storage can also enable infrastructure to be more resilient to failures than a single system. It’s ideal for applications that can be easily distributed across multiple systems, such as web servers or file storage systems.
Imagine an e-commerce business that experiences a surge in traffic during the holiday shopping seasons. It might scale out its website by adding more servers to handle the increased traffic. This approach allows the company to distribute the workload, reducing the risk of downtime or performance issues, and the company can easily add or remove servers as traffic fluctuates. This provides consistent service during the busiest times of the year without wasting resources the rest of the time.
While both scaling up and scaling out are effective ways to improve performance and capacity, there are critical differences between the two.
The deployment and usage of either scaling style will depend on the company’s ultimate goals. These are either:
The architecture load is also different. Vertical scaling can boost mission-critical servers in the short term, allowing companies to continue using an established system while planning to modernize that architecture somewhere down the road. However, scaling up involves upgrading existing hardware, sometimes leading to compatibility issues between the current system and its upgrade.
On the other hand, horizontal scaling typically requires a simpler architecture because companies are simply adding new components to the overall infrastructure. However, it also requires careful planning and management to distribute workloads evenly to prevent any one system from becoming overloaded. IT must also configure the network to handle the increased traffic and ensure seamless integration.
How can companies ensure that computer systems can handle increasing workloads and user demand? In both cases, companies should first:
Here’s how to proceed from there.
And finally, for both paths, companies should choose an appropriate suite of automation and orchestration tools to ensure consistency.
Ultimately, choosing which scale path to take is a matter of the company’s goals and needs.
Whether vertical or horizontal, storage systems must involve these factors:
As data volume and complexity grow, a future-proof data infrastructure can adapt to changing requirements and support emerging technologies. However, it requires careful planning, execution, and management to ensure that the chosen infrastructure can meet the demands of modern computing requirements, as well as security needs.
Here are some best practices for building scalable data centers:
Organizations can build a data infrastructure that meets the demands of modern computing and data processing requirements by following these best practices and working with experienced IT vendors like Seagate.
Seagate Technology leads the market in data storage solutions, offering a range of products and services, including Exos systems, to help organizations build reliable and scalable IT infrastructure.