The Importance of Scalability in Virtualization Solutions

Assignment Prompt

For this assignment, do some research to determine the effect of scalability on virtualizations solutions. Consider both horizontal and vertical scaling. Is scalability important to consider when determining virtualization needs? Why or why not.

Write a 2-3 page paper (not including cover page and references) about the importance of scalability to an organization when they are developing a virtualization solution.

Sample Essay Answer

Scalability applies in both business and computing. It implies the capacity of businesses or computer systems to adapt to increased scope of demands and workload, usually by utilizing resources that are added in the systems (Armbrust et al., 2010). The use of physical resources greatly limits scalability because it requires a physical space to create room for expansion and a lot of money to acquire the physical materials necessary. On the other hand, virtualization allows the creation of more space for data storage without investing in physical resources, hence making it a less costly and efficient alternative for scalability.

Virtualization is increasingly becoming popular and essential in cloud computing because it is flexible and can easily be scaled up or down (Kumar & Charu, 2015). It is worth noting that the scalability of cloud architecture is only made possible through virtualization. Virtual machines have the capacity to process heavy workloads since they can be hosted on more than one server at a time. In addition, virtual machines can be moved from one server to another much easily when there is need for a more powerful server.

The dynamics of business environments usually present both expected and unexpected demands. Such demands cause fluctuations in traffic that necessitate system scaling to accommodate. It is critical to consider what will happen to your systems when planning for the virtualization needs of the future. While it is true that scalability is made possible by virtualization, understanding the right ways of scaling can significantly increase the efficiency and reduce the operational costs of a system.

There are two known ways of accomplishing scaling-horizontal or scaling out and vertical or scaling up. Horizontal scalability becomes useful when there is need to increase the volume of data in the network, for example, by adding new applications. It is more complex as it involves connecting multiple hardware or software to form a single working unit. Contrary, vertical scalability involves increasing the capacity of a network by adding components such as CPU, bandwidth, and RAM (Lehrig, Eikerling & Becker, 2015). This is usually easy to accomplish since the resources are added to the existing server and only for purposes of increasing its capacity without necessarily changing the code.

Scalability offers a cost-effective way of developing virtual solutions because it allows only one machine to carry out the function that would otherwise be done by many machines. Furthermore, scaling reduces the maintenance cost associated with running one machine including power, cooling, and server racks.

Networks that are scaled horizontally prove to be more resilient to malfunctioning and data loss. The reason is that in a virtually scaled system, the data is distributed across multiple nodes in the cloud environment. The result is that it leaves no single point that can cause system malfunctioning or data loss. Therefore, scalability can help companies run big operations smoothly and accommodate more clients with minimal downtime in their applications.

Flexibility and speed are important for a growing business to remain operational and competitive. Scalability provides these features by allowing the load to be distributed across the nodes within the cloud system, thereby, creating a network that is fast and efficient. Companies are now able to scale their systems to deal with unexpected increase in demand without experiencing hiccups. The ease with which power and storage can be increased in a system to accommodate more traffic is made possible by cloud scalability.


Armbrust, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R., Joseph, A. D., Katz, R., Konwinski, A., & Zaharia, M. (2010). A view of cloud computing. Communications of the ACM53(4), 50-58.

Kumar, R., & Charu, S. (2015). An importance of using virtualization technology in cloud computing. Global Journal of Computers & Technology1(2).

Lehrig, S., Eikerling, H., & Becker, S. (2015, May). Scalability, elasticity, and efficiency in cloud computing: A systematic literature review of definitions and metrics. In Proceedings of the 11th International ACM SIGSOFT Conference on Quality of Software Architectures (pp. 83-92).