As Varnish Plus Cloud has expanded its availability to more cloud platforms (today it’s available on AWS/Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure), we thought it would be worth looking at the difference between elasticity and scalability.

We talk a lot about scalability, and the non-cloud version of the Varnish Plus software suite is designed around supporting long-term scalability and business strategy. Elasticity, though, is a little bit different - it supports shorter-term needs to help you scale up and down flexibly according to your immediate, tactical needs when managing traffic to your website. Cloud computing solutions are ideal for providing need-based elasticity. How much power and control do you need and when?

A specific example of where Varnish Plus Cloud might be the best option is for e-commerce companies with relatively stable web traffic patterns, usually interrupted only by massive traffic spikes around Black Friday and the busy Christmas shopping period. The rest of the year, predictable traffic patterns make it relatively easy to manage websites for expected traffic. But when the holidays and its many promotions and sales hit, it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of the performance and elasticity of virtual servers.

Preparing for holiday season's traffic peaks with the elasticity of Varnish Plus Cloud

It probably seems strange to be discussing the “immediate need” for help scaling up for holidays in December in early September. Well, if we have seen anything over the years, it’s that you need to get ready for holiday periods well in advance: holiday periods are not the time to make infrastructure changes (and most companies will have implemented a code freeze by October). By the time your holiday preparations roll around (it’s coming faster than you think), you have so many other things to consider that managing peak web traffic, while an urgent concern, might be your last thought. It shouldn’t be, of course - every single year we see a hit list of retailers whose websites failed in critical moments - sometimes even seeing “repeat performers” year after year who have not made adequate changes to prevent these disasters.

Whether you’ve run into crashes during crunch time or want to avoid having it happen to you, right now is an ideal time to start thinking about scaling up for holiday peaks, massive news events or other traffic spikes.

The well-known beauty of cloud solutions is that they can be up and running in minutes, eliminate the need for registering a repository, downloading software and installing manually - and can be ramped up flexibly and quickly based completely on your needs. Your hands aren’t tied - you can reduce capacity just as easily as you increased it. That’s what elasticity is all about.

Ready to learn more about how to use cloud solutions for greater flexibility and cost management - and more?

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