You’ve heard that cloud hosting is scalable and flexible. It is. But there are two types of scalability when it comes to operating in the cloud. There is vertical scalability and horizontal scalability. So what do these terms mean?

Vertical Scalability In The Cloud

When demand for resources increases, what do you? You need to scale up. Vertical scalability allows you to add more resources like memory and CPU cores. You are not adding new machines. Rather, you are adding or increasing the resources that your available machines have access to.

Why would you do this? If you have applications that require more memory or bandwidth then it makes sense to scale up vertically. For instance, if you are running a social network and you have grown to such an extent that your existing members need more functionality then it may be time to scale up vertically.

Horizontal Scalability In The Cloud

You may have guessed by now that horizontal scalability is actually adding new machines to your cloud network. These can be virtual machines or actual hardware. Either way, you are adding machines instead of simply new resources.

Again, why would you do this? Horizontal scalability is necessary when you are adding applications or new software to your cloud network and you do not have enough hard drive space to house your new applications. Another reason you may need to scale up horizontally is to increase your storage space.