Community Blog Scaling Up with Cloud Computing: A Comprehensive Overview

Scaling Up with Cloud Computing: A Comprehensive Overview

In today's dynamic digital landscape, cloud computing stands as a transformative force, reshaping businesses worldwide.

By Jessie Angelica, Solution Architect Intern


In the ever-evolving digital landscape, cloud computing is the catalyst for transforming businesses worldwide. Imagine a world where computing power, data storage, and cutting-edge services are not confined to physical limitations but are at your fingertips, on demand. It is the promise of cloud computing for leading this transformative charge. Cloud computing breaks free from traditional constraints, offering a virtual realm where businesses can access resources online. Whether you're a startup aiming to innovate rapidly or an established enterprise seeking efficiency, cloud computing becomes your strategic enabler. At the heart of this revolution is Alibaba Cloud, a visionary in technology. From powering e-commerce giants to empowering startups, Alibaba Cloud's suite of services empowers all to thrive in the digital age. With data centers spanning the globe, Alibaba Cloud ensures reliability and performance, while its commitment to sustainability echoes a greener future.


Do you know about Cloud Computing? Cloud Computing is the on-demand provision of computer system services without the user managing their physical hardware or IT infrastructure. Cloud computing offers easy storage, processing power, and software access, allowing businesses and individuals to scale up or down quickly without human intervention. Instead of owning and maintaining your computers and servers, you can use remote computers and services over the Internet.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Accessibility and Speed to Market

When you develop applications in the cloud, you can swiftly launch them into the market. It's like having your creations just a single click away, reducing the time it takes to bring them to the forefront. You can access your resources from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection, ensuring swift availability whenever you require them.

Scalability and Flexibility

In the cloud, you possess the power to seamlessly adjust the scale of your services. This means you can quickly make them bigger or smaller, catering to the demands of your business and aligning with your unique needs. If you need more resources, obtaining them is a rapid process. Likewise, when resources are unutilized due to fluctuating workloads, you can swiftly scale down.

Cost Savings

Cloud computing models are structured around the idea of paying only for what you use. This strategy translates into cost savings. If you're not using resources, you cease payment for them. This prudent approach prevents the construction of an excessive data center and erases the need for expensive hardware, software, and upkeep expenditures.

Resource Allocation

Cloud providers manage a vast reservoir of resources and distribute them to users as needed. This strategy allows providers to purchase resources in bulk, leading to reduced costs that they pass on to customers. You're not required to concern yourself with the physical whereabouts of these resources; they're efficiently allocated from the provider's pool.

Data Loss Prevention

Cloud providers extend safety nets in the form of backup and disaster recovery options. Storing your data in the cloud serves as a preventive measure against data loss during emergencies like hardware malfunctions, cyber threats, or even accidental user errors. Your valuable data remains safeguarded within the cloud's protective environment.

Difference between Traditional Computing and Cloud Computing

Conventional Computing Cloud Computing
The data and applications are stored on machines within your physical premises, such as physical hard drives and website servers. Cloud computing involves providing various services over the internet using external servers, typically belonging to third-party providers.
Conventional computing is more costly and time-intensive due to the need for purchasing and maintaining hardware, software, ensuring security, and managing performance. Cloud servers are managed and maintained by multiple entities, resulting in a cost reduction for public services.
The data remains confined to the system where it's stored, not requiring an internet connection for access. The data remains confined to the system where it's stored, not requiring an internet connection for access.
The storage capacity of local servers is limited, which poses a challenge as data volumes grow over time. Cloud computing provides substantial storage capacity and numerous servers, along with heightened computing prowess.
Scaling up or down in response to fluctuating requirements often involves complex processes and may not be as swift or efficient as desired. The cloud environment excels in scalability and elasticity, allowing you to efficiently increase or decrease your computing resources as needed.
Conventional computing ensures robust data security by enabling the storage of sensitive information within the organization's premises. Cloud computing entails entrusting sensitive data to an external provider

Basic Alibaba Cloud Products and Scenarios

Alibaba Cloud's Elastic Compute Service (ECS) is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution that offers resizable and customizable virtual machines, known as instances, hosted in the cloud. It provides on-demand computing resources, including CPU, memory, storage, and network bandwidth, allowing users to efficiently deploy and manage applications without the need to invest in physical hardware.

A technology company relies on ECS to seamlessly manage their online platform's performance. When facing sudden spikes in user traffic, ECS instantly scales up by automatically adding more powerful virtual machines to handle the load, ensuring smooth user experiences. As the traffic subsidies, ECS scales down, efficiently reallocating resources and preventing unnecessary costs. This real-time, pay-as-you-go resource optimization empowers the company to deliver high-quality service while maintaining cost-effectiveness, exemplifying ECS's role as a responsive and cost-efficient cloud infrastructure solution.

For more information, visit the Elastic Compute Service (ECS): Server Cloud Elastis & Aman - Alibaba Cloud

Figure 1. Service architecture of ECS

ApsaraDB Relational Database Service (RDS) is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution provided by Alibaba Cloud that simplifies the complexities of database management, enhances security, and empowers businesses to focus on innovation and growth rather than the intricate technical aspects of database administration. ApsaraDB RDS provides a complete suite of database operation and maintenance solutions such as disaster recovery, backup, restoration, monitoring and migration. Instead of manually setting up and configuring a database, ApsaraDB RDS offers automated deployment. This means you don't need to worry about the technical steps involved in creating a database instance; the service handles this for you.

A fast-growing software company integrated ApsaraDB RDS into their infrastructure. By doing so, they automate the setup of a robust and secure database to store user profiles, app data, and interactions. As their user base expands, ApsaraDB RDS automatically scales the database resources to meet the heightened demand during peak usage. The service's continuous monitoring and backup features ensure data integrity and availability, and freeing the IT team from routine maintenance tasks. This allows the team to concentrate on enhancing the app's features and delivering seamless experiences to users, while the underlying database management is seamlessly handled by ApsaraDB RDS.

For more information, visit the What is ApsaraDB RDS? (alibabacloud.com)

Figure 2. RDS Basic Edition, RDS High-availability Edition, and RDS Cluster Edition of ApsaraDB RDS.

Object Storage Service (OSS) is a secure and cost-effective object storage service that offers 99.9999999999% (twelve 9's) of data durability and 99.995%. It is also designed for 99.9999999999% (12 9's) durability, and backed up with industry-leading SLA. Therefore, customers of all sizes and industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for use cases, such as backup and restore, content distribution, data lakes, websites, mobile applications, data archive and IoT devices.
In a global media company, OSS efficiently manages and stores their vast multimedia files like images and videos. With organized data "buckets" and built-in redundancy, they ensure reliable content delivery worldwide. OSS's flexible pricing and scalability empower them to optimize costs and easily accommodate growing data demands.

For more information, visit the Object Storage Service (OSS)-alibabacloud

Figure 3. OSS integrates with CDN products

Server Load Balancer (SLB)
Server Load Balancer (SLB) distributes network traffic across groups of backend servers to improve the service capability and application availability. It Includes Layer 4 Network Load Balancer (NLB), Layer 7 Application Load Balancer (ALB), and Classic Load Balancer (CLB). SLB provides Layer-4 (TCP protocol and UDP protocol) and Layer-7 (HTTP protocol and HTTP protocol) load balancing services. The SLB instances feature high performance and integrate with auto scaling to manage the scaling of each listener independently. They can automatically adjust resources based on your business requirements to simplify O&M. To use the SLB service, you should create a Server Load Balancer instance with at least one listener and two ECS instances configured.

In a bustling e-commerce website, SLB efficiently manages incoming user requests by evenly distributing them across multiple servers. This dynamic allocation prevents any single server from becoming overwhelmed, ensuring consistent performance and minimizing downtime during high traffic periods, such as flash sales or promotions. SLB's automatic detection of unhealthy servers reroutes traffic to healthy ones, enhancing application availability.

For more information, visit the Server Load Balancer (alibabacloud.com)

Figure 4. Server Load Balancer architecture

Auto Scaling is a management service that allows users to automatically adjust elastic computing resources according to business needs and policies. When the demand for computing resources increases, it automatically adds ECS instances to serve additional user requests, or alternatively removes instances in the case of decreased user requests. When you create a scaling group, you can specify the minimum and maximum numbers of instances, templates that are used for scale-outs, and policies that are used for scale-ins. Auto-scaling has multiple nodes.

First, Elastic scale-out when it adds additional computing resources to the pool during peak times. The fluctuations usually occur on the website during high traffic. It causes the website to go down, which can be fatal for the user. The existence of this auto-scaling service is to help website stability so that when many users are visiting the website, the website doesn't go down. How does this auto-scaling scale-out work? First, the instance was originally standard; for example, initially, there were two ECS instances, but because of an event, many users were visiting the website, and high traffic occurred. To keep the website running normally, the ECS instance, which was initially two, will increase according to the incoming traffic (scale out). From the image above, the arrow goes inside, meaning adding an instance.

Figure 5.1. Scale-out Diagram

Second, Elastic scale-in when it releases ECS resources when requests decrease. In this scenario, when the event is over, it means we don't need as many instances during the event; that's why a scale-in occurs where the ECS instances gradually decrease, and eventually, the number returns to normal. For this auto-scaling case, you pay according to usage.

Figure 5.2. Scale-in Diagram

Last, Elastic self-healing when unhealthy ECS has been detected, automatically replaces it with new one. Besides adding and releasing instances according to user needs, auto-scaling has a health monitor feature. Before scaling, it will also check whether the existing cases are damaged; a new one will be replaced when it has been damaged. For example, when high traffic is at a national shopping day event.

Figure 5.3. Elastic Recovery Diagram

For more information, visit the How Auto Scaling works (alibabacloud.com)


This Alibaba Cloud blog series embarks on a journey to explain cloud computing. We'll unravel its layers, from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Software as a Service (SaaS). Join us to discover how Alibaba Cloud’s innovation, coupled with the simplicity of cloud computing, can elevate your endeavors.

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