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Scalable Architecture

Scaling your technology architecture controls costs and ensures your systems keep pace with your growth.

Technology companies offering SaaS or cloud-based products and web applications face a common roadblock: a technology architecture that can economically scale with business growth. As you increase customers and expand software features to keep pace with future growth demands, your architecture needs to scale. Without sufficient scalability, customers face slow performance, systems that crash under demand and load surges, system bottlenecks, and an overall poor customer experience. Lack of architectural scalability leads to expensive AWS cloud costs when your systems or database are built on vertical scaling How to Create a Scalable Software Architecture >

Planning and Building Scalable, High-Performing Architecture

With careful planning, you can easily address web application scalability challenges. It starts by looking at your business goals, use cases, and metrics, followed by an analysis comparing architectural design alternatives, such as running one’s own database instance versus a managed database. Ten Mile Square’s expert team frequently consults on decisions integral to addressing scalability in these key areas:

Cloud Architecture >
AI and Machine Learning >
Auto-scaling and Elasticity >

Aligning Architectural Choices with Evolving Business Needs

Selecting the right software architecture patterns is an important part of your scaling strategy. Patterns such as microservices, monolithic, event-driven, and service-oriented architecture (SOA) all offer unique advantages, but also come with unique limitations. but it is vital to apply patterns to pick the one that align your architectures seamlessly with your dynamic business needs. As organizational structures grow increasingly layered and complex, addressing evolving business requirements can pose substantial challenges for teams responsible for these structural decisions.

Architecture is a living entity, growing and evolving with your business to accommodate expanding customer bases, increasing revenue, and adapting to fluctuating business needs. Your architecture must be pruned and nurtured, ensuring its alignment with business goals, and making it a critical component in any strategy. The architecture you choose significantly influences your system’s capacity to efficiently scale and adapt to transformational requirements, directly affecting performance, efficiency, and cost.

Our Insights: Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated: Building Scalable Architecture →

Cloud Architecture Fueling Growth and Efficiency

As an AWS partner, we adhere to the AWS Well-Architected Framework, which helps cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure. By following its six pillars – operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability – our customers see significant cost savings, improved application performance, and reduced security risks.

Architecting or refining a cloud-based environment for your enterprise? Leverage our expert-led technology assessment where we help you navigate the complex aspects of your cloud architecture strategy. It includes meticulously defining each layer (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) to build a robust, secure, and scalable framework. You’ll gain a plan that seamlessly integrates your cloud strategy with your business goals, ensuring resilience and growth readiness.


Prioritizing MLOps in AI and Machine Learning

In this era of digital transformation, AI and Machine Learning (ML) have become crucial by allowing systems to learn from data, improve performance, and adapt to evolving business needs autonomously. The integration of AI and ML into your architecture demands a focus on MLOps — a practice for collaboration and communication between data scientists, developers,  and operations professionals. MLOps helps you turn your ML models into scalable products that deliver tangible business value.

Successfully integrating AI and ML into scalable architectures requires addressing unique data management needs, sourcing the right talent, and discerning the business value of different models. Homegrown ML often underestimates these demands. Furthermore, high costs and scarce resources, like GPUs for transformers and neural architectures, complicate scaling. A strategic approach to AI/ML, inclusive of efficient MLOps, is crucial to ensure your architecture is scalable, intelligent, and adaptive – making your business dynamic and competitive.

Our Insights: AWS Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C03), Machine Learning Overview →

A Ten Mile Square expert can work with you to determine the best plan for your unique enterprise.

Harnessing Auto-Scaling and Elasticity for Optimal Performance

Auto-scaling and elasticity are essential aspects of high-performing cloud infrastructure. Key to their success is ensuring your architecture has horizontally scalable components and understanding how these individual pieces interact and scale. 

Pitfalls like overprovisioning, often due to scaling mismatches between components, can inflate costs and hinder flexibility. Proactive monitoring can minimize these errors and downtime issues, preventing the need for customer support responses. Infrastructure planning should align with well-architected frameworks and business needs, including data sensitivities, SLAs, and compliance. From a cost standpoint, emphasis should be on both the reliability of scaling up and down, along with right-sizing compute resources. Effective management of auto-scaling and elasticity can significantly enhance operational performance.

Our Insights: Are Your Cloud Costs Too High? 5 Steps to Lower Your AWS Costs →


“Ten Mile Square knows how to scale digital asset management systems for media companies. After asking the right questions to understand our business, they quickly figured out and solved our scalability issues. Leveraging their AWS expertise, they scaled our platform to serve 7x as many customers. They’re invested in our product and our success. I haven’t found anything they don’t do well.”

How to Create a Scalable Software Architecture

Business and product leaders consider several factors when planning for a scalable architecture. It usually starts with an eye toward horizontal scalability and scaling independently. Design decisions need to factor in deployment costs, plan for database scalability, and integrate load balancing.

1. Scalable Architecture Requires Moving from Vertical to Horizontal Scalability

What is horizontally scalable architecture and why is it important? Horizontal scaling allows you to scale up discrete parts of a cloud-based system, rather than the entire system, to meet demand. Scaling horizontally not only is significantly more cost-effective, but also enables auto-scaling, gives you more control, and reduces the time it takes to evolve your system.

What is vertical scalable architecture? By contrast, vertical scaling requires you to scale up the entire system at once. While common in older technologies and databases, there are no benefits to scaling vertically when deploying in the cloud today. It is more costly and time-consuming to maintain.

What is scalability in microservices architecture? Microservices architecture breaks down software programs into smaller components. Each microservice has one function, so it can be scaled to the exact level you need, making them independently deployable or upgradable. Microservices help you scale efficiently in the cloud using horizontal scaling and workload partitioning – resulting in faster deployments, cost efficiencies, and granular performance tracking. Many recognize Netflix’s pioneering move to replace its monolithic software design with smaller components decoupled into 1,000 microservices for discrete functions, such as login, search, stream a movie or update your profile.

2. Design for Scalability to Control Your Deployment Costs

Architecture design decisions will affect deployment costs. Before making any decisions, ask:
  • Do your architectural decisions consider the impact on deployment costs? Many developers write code to optimize the solution to the problem they are handed. But, not necessarily, the efficiency of the cost model for running the code.
  • Is your process automated to ensure architectural components are updated immediately? Updating to the latest software version lets you take advantage of newer, more scalable system features, which helps keep your cloud costs lower.
  • Are you periodically revisiting ways to reduce AWS cloud costs? If your AWS cloud costs are high, moving to horizontal scaling is key. As demand surges, you will only pay for what needs scaling or more memory when you need it rather than all the time. Steps you can take to lower your AWS costs >

Flexible, Scalable Architecture for Media Platform

tenovosTen Mile Square helped this SaaS digital asset management platform create a more flexible, secure, and scalable architecture to meet expanding customer requirements.

3. Database Scalability Is a Common Scaling Bottleneck

Most relational databases were designed using older technologies that supported vertical scaling. As a result, databases are a common cause of scaling issues. There are a number of ways to solve database scalability including:
  • Managed databases: A managed relational database service (RDS), like Amazon Aurora, allows you to move your database to an open-source, cloud database. This lightens the load of moving to a horizontally scalable database, but it may require some changes first.
  • Clustering: Clustering technology may be an option that can move your database closer to horizontal scaling.  
  • Sharding: A replica database and sharding is another option (think of it as “horizontal partitioning” to spread the load). For instance, if you have an Oracle enterprise database that you plan to stay on, you may find it easiest to use master replication and sharding to make it more scalable.
  • Non-relational and NoSQL databases: Consider cloud-native databases that are built to avoid relational database scaling challenges. Options include CloudSpanner, BigQuery, Redis, MongoDB, and Neo4J.
With careful planning, you can move away from a vertical scaling database. Start by looking at your business goals, use cases, and metrics. Compare alternatives like Amazon Aurora versus a replica database with sharding. Conduct a cost analysis to make the best decision. Ten Mile Square’s team gets asked to weigh in on database scalability decisions almost daily. Schedule a discovery call to talk through a scaling question or get an unbiased, external perspective.

Increased Database Scalability by Migrating to Aurora

Ten Mile Square helped a multi-million dollar media company solve its database scalability by:

4. Load Balancing Is Key to Scalable Architecture

Your entire system must be examined when solving scalability. As you increase capacity in one area, you need to consider downstream capacity or risk shifting the bottleneck. Load balancers can improve availability by routing traffic to different proxy servers to prevent overloading.

Consider, where are your scaling problems occurring? If your gateway is the bottleneck, a gateway load balancer will help you scale up to avoid crashing under demand, timeouts, or slow performance. Similarly, if your application is experiencing a surge in customers, an application load balancer will resolve the issue. Elastic load balancing can also help with application scalability by distributing traffic across multiple targets and virtual applications in one or more availability zones. Eventually, you may need to address your database scalability – redesigning your storage architecture or moving to a horizontally scaling database.

Unlocking Growth with Scalable Databases

Envision a database that mirrors your business’ growth trajectory, an infrastructure that thrives amidst increasing workloads, ensuring unrivaled performance and efficiency. It is the promise of a scalable database — a robust platform capable of adapting and growing seamlessly with your enterprise.

The journey to achieving optimal database scalability starts by choosing a database type and tech stack that matches your data type and use cases. Employing advanced techniques, like replication and sharding, further enhances your potential. Our technology experts lead you through critical strategic decisions to minimize barriers and ensure uninterrupted growth in a business environment riddled with high licensing costs and performance bottlenecks.


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Scalable Architecture Checklist

Did you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions? Contact Ten Mile Square today to learn how we can help assess and solve your architecture scalability issues.

Improve your architecture scalability and control your costs

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