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Why True Autoscaling is Out of Reach for the Average SMB

Shopping for a cloud solution can be difficult. You’ll be sold on plenty of impressive-sounding features that you may not know anything about. One feature that you may have seen floating around is autoscaling, which sounds great on paper, but may not live up to its expectations. The only problem, though, is how you can identify those that deliver, and those that don’t, before investing in a project.

The idea of autoscaling for your cloud solution seems to be great. Workloads can automatically be adjusted depending on the scale and specific amount of resources they need to perform a task. The idea is that these processes are automated so that you can focus on doing your job. This always-on feature keeps your network monitored, preventing bottlenecks and traffic spikes from derailing operations. Supposedly, cloud autoscaling can handle all of this without any human intervention whatsoever.

Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case.

The reality of the situation is that autoscaling to this degree requires an immense amount of human oversight and intervention, that the “auto” in autoscaling is hardly a qualifying term. 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 of investing so much time and effort into making a truly automated system, it’s often best to just have human oversight involved in your cloud solution. This is done best by allowing trusted IT administrators to keep tabs on network traffic and intelligent scaling. Besides, isn’t a human system better than an automated system in the first place?

This type of oversight for a cloud platform is important, especially since network computing can be unpredictable at times. For example, what would happen if your website was hosted in the cloud, and your business was featured in a TV spotlight on the local news? Your website might crash from the unexpected amount of traffic it receives. Any solution connected to the Internet is vulnerable to such a threat, particularly DDoS attacks, which are frequently used by both fledgling hackers and experienced criminals alike. If a network is being monitored with the proper oversight, the needed resources can be allocated and scaled to suit the situation, and (hopefully) prevent the attack.

However, nothing is as simple as it seems, even when people are involved. For a small business, it can be difficult for the IT budget to procure a salary for a dedicated IT technician who can constantly oversee their network. Furthermore, even if you can accommodate an in-house IT technician, you know how busy they can get. 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.”

The SMB seems to be stuck at an impasse here; with true autoscaling being difficult, if not impossible to achieve, and onboarding new IT technicians being out of scope, the most effective way to achieve a semblance of autoscaling for your cloud solution is to use a managed cloud service. NTConnections’s managed services provides affordable and accessible IT solutions for small businesses, which can include the oversight you need for your cloud solution.

In the end, you won’t be doing any of the work, so it’ll be just as good as any automated cloud solution could be. To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 288-9767.