Feature image-The-Right-Sizing-Problem-in-Cloud-Computing

Cloud Computing and the Right-Sizing Problem: What is it and How to Solve it?

Cloud Computing

The internet has become the center of not just an average individual’s life, but also the business industry. There are hardly any sizable modern businesses that are not utilizing some form of digital or online technology to execute their strategies and achieve their goals. 

In fact, many small and medium-sized businesses are also looking to leverage the sheer advantage these tools bring to the table. Many of these companies, however, struggle to gain the resources and skilled staff required to launch and maintain multiple servers. Larger corporations, while having the resources, often lack the time needed to ensure these systems are running smoothly and consistently.

As a result, businesses look to use third-party services to obtain cloud computing capabilities. Cloud computing is defined as the delivery of online computing services, including storage and processing, as required by a company or an institution.  

Right-Sizing Problem-image

What is Right-Sizing?

Just a simple Google search will show you hundreds of cloud service providers that you can leverage great use from through subscriptions and packages. The main problem that often occurs, however, is that companies end up buying more resources than they end up needing. While you can try to make estimates, it is nearly impossible to predict your requirements to the last detail considering how dynamic such operations tend to be. To ensure operations keep running, companies overpay for resources they will never even need.

This is where right-sizing comes in. Right-sizing is defined as the process of maintaining a sufficient level of performance at the lowest possible costs. That’s done by reserving cloud computing instances with just enough resources, such as CPU, RAM, and storage among others. At the end of the day, right-sizing is also a guessing game- you try to make the best possible estimates at multiple intervals throughout the process as adjustments are made periodically to each software stack runtime instance.

Fortunately, modern-day tools have given us the ability to automate resource allocation and make very close cost estimates. As a result, you no longer need to worry about how many resources you must reserve and how much they will cost you.

The Right-Sizing Problem

The main issue that comes with right-sizing is the unnecessary costs. While convenient, third-party cloud services can be expensive in some cases. Even if you are able to find affordably priced packages, the services and features you require for your system can add up to a big number. But compromising on the performance and uptime of your business’s digital front is not acceptable either. Therefore, it is necessary to strike an optimized balance between how much you spend and how well your website is performing. That is the problem right-sizing aims to solve.

It is not possible to find the perfect mean value of your resource usage since the load can vary greatly due to the impact of multiple factors. Hence, an estimate is typically made based on your recent application activity with the addition of some margin on top to accommodate for possibly increased traffic/load in the near future.

Once you get your initial right-sizing done, the process does not end there. You need to keep monitoring your application activity and performance to make sure the estimate still aligns with the initial prediction. It is also important to guarantee efficient usage of purchased resources as you do not want to be lacking or idling with unused resources.

The Impact of the Right-Sizing Problem

Failure to achieve right-sizing at the appropriate time can have detrimental consequences for businesses. Vertical scaling is already incredibly difficult with cloud computing as most services use virtual machines (VMs). To adjust allocated resource limits in a given instance, you would have to shift your workload to an entirely new VM. This is a difficult and complex process that requires time, skill, and some site downtime.

One solution would be to just get a larger VM from the beginning, even if you do not need all of those resources. However, most packages tend to increase resources exponentially from one tier to the next and charge just as high. Some cloud services may even sell your unused resources to other customers, meaning you pay significantly higher to get worse performance.

The impact of a lack of right-sizing can be summed up as either of the following:

  • Overallocation

Overpayment for unused resources and inefficient utilization of purchased cloud infrastructure.

  • Underallocation 

Insufficient resources causing performance degradation and downtime along with poor end-user experience and major financial losses due to missed clients.

Right-Sizing: What is the Solution?

Now that we know just how detrimental its absence can be, let’s explore how you can find the best of both worlds with right-sizing. Automation is the way to go as manual methods can be pretty unreliable. 

When automating the right-sizing of your project, here are some features to look out for:

  • Granular Resource Allocation 

Try to choose a hosting service that can run containers with granular resource allocation as it allows you to select the instance size with more precision. 

  • Pay-per-Use

Some modern cloud infrastructures like CloudSigma offer pay-per-use cloud hosting services where you can set high scaling limits to accommodate for load spikes, yet only pay for the resources you actually use. The unused resources are kept in a shared pool without impacting your performance.

  • Automatic Vertical Scaling

The ability to adjust the number of resources applied to a container on demand is extremely time and effort-saving. You can see here how to set up automatic vertical scaling on the CloudSigma PaaS.

If you are able to find a cloud hosting service that ticks all of these boxes, you are golden. All you need to do is determine your maximum resource limit and the right-sizing process will be conducted for you. CloudSigma PaaS includes all of these features and ensures that users only pay for the resources they actually use. You can read more about it here and even sign up for a free trial to see if it is a good fit for your company. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or queries.

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About Zhenya Mocheva

Zhenya is a Digital Marketing Expert at CloudSigma, focusing on brand strategy, social media marketing and digital marketing campaigns. She is passionate about the continuous innovation within the digital environment and the endless growth opportunities that inbound marketing brings.