One of the requests we frequently come across from multiple customers is to help with scalability. Modern SAAS applications involve too many moving parts, making scalability a challenging problem. But scalability challenge is a good problem to have. It is indicative of growing popularity of the service. In this first part of the two-part series, we will look at ‘when and why’ of the problem. In the next part, we will look at how to go about breaking down the problem.
“Scalability challenge is a good problem to have. It is indicative of growing popularity of the service.”
When do scalability challenges crop up?
Organizations that build/operate IT applications targeting thousands to millions of users, are bound to encounter scalability challenges sooner or later. It is not a matter of if, but when. Typical events that lead the systems to hit their bottlenecks include, but not limited to:
- Transitioning from an early stage to funded stage.
- A blog/video/product going viral.
- A big event in relevant industry, like Olympics for a sports e-tailer.
While some of the events may be anticipated and planned, with the usual focus on features, most of the organizations rarely have the bandwidth to test the limits, their systems can be stretched to.
Why address scalability?
As much as facing scalability challenge is a good sign, not resolving it in time can cost hard-gained momentum. As systems hit bottlenecks, users face inconvenience in terms of slower response times and worse – application unavailability. This exposes organizations to unwanted risks including but not limited to:
- Loss of credibility and reputation in the brand and investor community.
- Loss of revenue.
- Loss of customer base.
- Legal implications in case of SLAs.
“… not resolving scalability in time can cost hard gained momentum”
The multiple moving parts of SAAS applications requires expertise in multiple areas, with experts working in close coordination for successful resolution. In part-2 of this series, we will look at an approach to breaking the problem down.
“…. multiple moving parts necessitates expertise in multiple areas, with experts working in close coordination”