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Is Autoscaling a Myth?

When shopping for a cloud solution, you’re routinely bombarded with a ton of impressive-sounding features that act as selling points. One feature that you’ve probably come across, autoscaling, may not be able to fully deliver on its perceived promises.

The promise of autoscaling for your cloud solution is pretty straightforward. Somehow, workloads automatically know how to scale in size the specific amount of resources needed in order to perform a task. The idea here is that this feature is always-on and always monitoring network activity, thus alleviating bottlenecking issues and traffic spikes without any human intervention.

If only this were true.

In actuality, achieving autoscaling to this degree requires a whole lot of human oversight and technical know-how, thus, eliminating the “auto” part of the scaling equation. ITProPortal explains, “To create a truly automated and self-healing architecture that scales with little or no human intervention requires custom scripts and templates that can take months for a skilled team to get right, and many organizations have neither the time nor those resources to make it work.”

Instead, a better approach is to have human oversight of your cloud solution. This is achieved by entrusting IT administrators to respond to increased network traffic with intelligent scaling decisions.

Having oversight like this for a cloud platform is important for any business, especially when it comes to the unpredictable nature of network computing. For example, if your website is hosted in the cloud and your business is featured on a spot in the local news, then your website may crash from a spike in unexpected visits. Also, any solution connected to the Internet is at risk of being overwhelmed by a DDoS attack. Proper oversight of a network by an administrator will allow them to take needed scaling actions to safeguard against such an attack.

However, having a dedicated IT technician constantly overseeing your network is still a bit of a stretch for an SMB. If you’ve spent any time with an IT technician, you might recall just how busy they are. ITProPortal explains: “They don’t have time for this either. Couple it with the fact that they are chastised when systems are under-provisioned or fail, that re-starting a system may land it on an unfortunate server filled with noisy neighbors, and that all of this is happening at the scale of dozens or hundreds of servers at a time – and this feels like a great time to just over-provision everything and leave well enough alone.”

Therefore, in view of true autoscaling being difficult-to-impossible to achieve, and onboarding a new IT technician to oversee your servers being out of reach for the average SMB, the most reasonable and effective option left is a managed cloud service. Managed IT provides the best of both worlds; you get oversight of your cloud solution by having an automated system in place to catch any traffic and performance abnormalities, along with a human technician to make the proper scaling adjustments as soon as they’re notified. This affordable option is how SemTech IT Solutions manages our clients’ technology. To find out how you can take advantage of managed IT, call us at 407-830-1434.


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