Tipping the Scales in Your Favor

If you’re not an IT pro, then you might have just nodded and smiled the last time someone used the word “scalability”, but are you familiar with the concept and how it can affect what you do? You’ll need to make this a part of your vocabulary, because it’s going to be a key part of everyone’s future.

Scalability is simply the ability to grow. We like to talk about scalability in data storage because every day the amount of data transmitted globally is growing. Being able to anticipate storage needs and then make the necessary moves to be able to handle this new data is an essential skill for anyone worth their salt in the IT industry. If a system is scalable, it has the capacity to expand either by adding more storage or more computational power. Systems that aren’t scalable are those that can’t expand without a major revamp of the entire system.

Think about a lemonade stand. If the enthusiastic child (let’s call him Billy) running the stand can pour 10 glasses of lemonade every minute, that’s a pretty good operation. But what if Billy makes the local news and there’s a line around the block waiting for lemonade? Billy has suddenly become concerned about scalability.

When you’re talking about data storage, there are two different ways to scale up to handle an increased data load – vertically and horizontally.

Vertical scaling, or scaling up, simply means adding more storage units to your system. Adding more disks to your racks is a straightforward way of expanding your storage system without completely having to redesign the system itself.

Horizontal scaling, or scaling out, is a bit more tricky. Scaling out adds more computational power, or nodes, to the system, improving the system’s efficiency and overall ability to perform operations. Achieving a horizontal expansion can involve more technical and management challenges than simply adding more storage discs to your network. The benefits however, can transform an IT system.

If you’re looking to really make an improvement, a combination of vertical and horizontal scaling can drastically overhaul an IT system. The benefits of scalability aren’t hard to see. If you can future-proof your system, you’re ready to handle an increased workload without having to completely transform your system architecture. There’s a financial incentive for scalable systems as well, because you know that when the time comes, you have a cost-efficient plan in place to offer additional storage or computing power.

If you like thinking big, then get in touch with CDR and let’s discuss scalability issues and how they can relate to you.


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