There are two fundamental methods for scaling server infrastructure. They can be scaled up, or they can be scaled out. In the former, sites are progressively moved from lower spec servers to higher. Typically a site or group of sites might move from shared hosting to a low-powered dedicated server and then to successively more powerful servers. Scaling up is also frequently referred to as vertical scaling.
The second method, scaling out or horizontal scaling is different. Imagine a group of sites hosted on a relatively low-powered server. As the sites grow in popularity and their traffic increases, eventually the server will reach peak capacity. Load beyond this point will cause the server to falter: usually it’ll be the RAM that gives out first. The server worker processes will multiply to the point at which there is no more memory available: the server will start queueing requests and swapping out memory to disk. This is a bad situation for a server to be in because it significantly degrades site performance. Read more »
We’re getting to the time of year when shopping will be on the mind of most American families. Black Friday is just around the corner and Christmas will be upon us before we know it. Brick-and-mortar stores will be thronging with gift buyers and eCommerce stores will see more traffic than at any other time of the year. And, therein lies a problem.
For eCommerce businesses in a market with seasonal traffic spikes, managing infrastructure provisioning so that stores stay stable, available, and perform well is of prime concern. But, maintaining a great experience on a site all year round can also mean having a lot of wasted capacity at slower times of the year. Read more »
There’s no doubting that cloud computing has made a profound difference to the provisioning and deployment of IT infrastructure across a huge range of verticals. The debate around the benefits of virtualization technology and private or public clouds is ongoing, but given the enormous expansion of cloud platforms, their use by businesses and other organizations, and the cost savings the cloud can bring, it’s an overly conservative and cautious industry that doesn’t at least dip a toe into the cloud.
The healthcare industry has good reason to be cautious. Compliance with HIPAA, other regulatory implications, and a strong desire to have control over data privacy and security have slowed the pace of uptake of cloud platforms by hospitals and other healthcare organizations. However, cloud hosting has made leaps and bounds in privacy since the early leaky days. Read more »