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You know we always write our articles to make you understand better all the aspects of the software development processes. And in this article, we’ll tell you more about scalability and why you need it in order to succeed.
One thing we can promise is that we’ll tell you in detail what are the benefits your software will have from being scalable.
Scalability is a complex process (so complex, in fact, that we had to consult with our top-notch professionals to deliver the material you see here) so you got to know that in any case, you’ll need software development professionals to work with.
So, in terms of business scalability, your software may be both the main advantage and the main complication, and it totally depends on you alongside your technical partner.
What is the software scalability?
The software scalability means that the IT-solution is developed with an architecture that allows encasing the number of users without great losses in its productivity. To put it simple the scalability means that even if the number of users will be multiplied by 2, 10, 100 times your software will still put up with all the hard work without crashes. As an example let’s take the wonderful moment of joy when you realize that there are 1.000.000 users on your website and instead of crushing, it functions with adequate response time and still meets your business needs.
Let’s get practical about it. We yet need to discover what software is considered scalable and what has the potential of becoming one. If you have standalone desktop software that does not need to be connected to the server non-stop, it is 100% scalable. Among the examples of such an IT-solution are single-player desktop games.
In this case, each gamer downloads the software onto their computer and now they don’t require to be connected to the server. This is exactly what guarantees these game’s scalability. It doesn’t matter how many people are playing in your single-player game, it'll still remain single-player. No server ever will be overloaded if your game will be bought 1.000.000 times (besides, probably, the game-store server if they all chose to do it at the same time). You, on contrary, don’t have a server to be crashed by millions of users.
But if we’re talking about an app that needs a central server and connects to the network it is obvious that scalability is an issue here. The connections to the network allow only a limited number of people to use this software. Hence, the more people are in this system at the same time the higher is the possibility that the application will crash due to the overload.
Software scalability is an important part of your business’s future success as you may already notice. If you have a possibility to grow and sell your items/services on the new market segments (for example, your business is based in the US but now you decided to ship also to Canada and Europe), your software also needs to be changed. As your needs grow, your technical capabilities have to change too. So in the next highlight of this article, we’ll look at how to achieve scalability in terms of technical point of view.
How to ensure software scalability
There are 2 main types of scaling over there and a scalable software will probably have both of them (or at least one but on a real high level). And here it goes - with a lot of technical “nerdy” details.
.1 Vertical Scalability
By this we mean an increase in processing power of a particular application’s launching environment. To put it simply - this type of scalability allows you to replace the least powerful components in the system with the more powerful ones. This scaling method has a high cost due to the use of high-performance servers, as well as both technical and time limitations.
This is the reason why vertical scalability isn’t so widely used in scalable software development. At the same time, this type of scalability is considered the simplest. But despite all its cons, this type of scaling can still be a successful solution for cloud environments. It’s mainly used in software with a computational power that can be changed at minimal expense, both financially and temporally.
.2 Horizontal Scalability
This type of scaling is about increasing the number of running instances of the application and load balancing between them. Explaining it in other words - horizontal scaling means adding more servers that are doing the same thing at the same time in parallel. Nonetheless, horizontal scalability may make the software architecture too complex, hence such a solution may require special expenses on maintaining its work. You will have to think about the expediency of implementing additional components and modules, such as load balancing services to avoid overloading the software. It is horizontal scaling that is most often used to create software with the possibility of further growth for more users.
To ensure the reliability of the scalable software work it is best to use both types, if you have technical capabilities and costs for it. Besides, the architecture itself is also important in scalable software development. To read more about how to choose the right type of architecture that’ll fit your business you can simply click here.
Talking about software scalability from a business point of view it’s worth noting that it’s not only a technical aspect. The part of this process you also need to worry about is a business strategy that implies business and software growth in proportion to the number of users expanding. You need to create it in order to calculate the expected growth of clients in the chosen period of time.
This way you will be able to know exactly to what point you may scale not only your software but your business as well.
We also can talk about adding innovative technologies into the software in terms of business strategy for business scalability. Blockchain, for example, can be a perfect option for this. It is quite easy to scale since it doesn’t have a central server. Hence, you may be sure that expanding your business you will attract new customers who are interested in safer data transfer.
Your main advantage from software scalability is an opportunity to maintain a stable level of profits as well as keep your business workflow uninterrupted. Aside from this, you’ll be able to expand your clients’ base, but in order to achieve it you’ll need to find a solution that can help you achieve this result.
Custom software scalability VS competitive offers scalability
Entrepreneurs often prefer other options to more expensive custom software when choosing a scalable IT-solution.
Among the main competitors of custom software are those that provide their clients with at least some options for further scaling. There are as follows:
- value-added resellers (VAR);
- ready-made solutions with an open-source.
Value-Added Resellers are companies that add new features to already existing software. There is a possibility for them to add databases, server balancing options, and other solutions for ready-made software to make it scalable.
But by buying this software you should know that you’re buying something permanent. The value-added resellers will less likely provide you with post-release evolution. So if you think that it’s enough for your business at this level please note that in the future your needs will change as you business will expand, and so you’ll have new requirements for your technical solutions.
You need to consider a long-term perspective and business value when choosing a software. Most VAR companies will give you only one solution that may cover one or two of your primary business needs. Scalability will rarely be one of these primary things, hence such companies have an issue with scalability overall.
It’s not their main goal to help your business with growth. Their main stream is to give you a software that may be customized to a certain level and will cover some of the most important business problems of yours.
Open source ready-made solutions is a different category of software that will less likely have great possibilities for scalability. Yes, they do have an open-source which means that a third-party (or your company’s) programmer can perfect it and add some possibilities for scalability to it later. But still, it’ll make the application’s architecture more complex and can’t grant it’s high quality after all the alterations.
Aside from this, more complex architecture will have some issues with scalability and implementation into the workflow of any company.
To conclude everything that’s been said, yes, these solutions will provide you with certain possibilities for software scalability but they won’t be an ultimate option if the business growth is something you are already thinking about.
One of the great options you may turn to is a custom software solution. You’ll have an opportunity to choose what audience you’re targeting, what do you want to achieve with your software, what is its main goal.
This is the way of developing a truly unique software with advanced possibilities for scaling. Besides, you and your technical partner may choose an optimal application architecture that may be perfected with multiple replicas and servers.
It’s also worth mentioning that we at MassMedia Group conduct business expertise and consulting on each stage of development. Hence we may reassure you that working with us guarantees adding only optimal solutions into your software instead of adding anything for nothing. All in all, this software (if you were working with a technical partner that provides post-release evolution) may be changed along with changes in your business goals or plans.
So if your goal is scalable software that is flexible and may fit into your volatile requirements then it is what you are looking for. In contrast, you may find other options we’ve looked through if you have different goals.
How to develop a scalable software?
Well, of course, software development is handed over to your technical partner if you choose to work with them. However, the understanding of the development process will allow you not to waste your time and money on corrections later.
These simplest advice you see below may become a tactical guide for you into the world of software scalability and business success.
Maybe the users of your web application will be way too much worried about the security issues, but convince them that cache won’t negatively affect their digital identity and private information. The digital environment may help you contain all the data on the server and maintain faster operation of the software. Cache also may be extremely useful if you don’t want to repeat the same task over and over again. This way even a large number of users that are on the page at the same time won’t make your app crash due to the overload. It will have a “memory” about how to solve certain tasks multiple times, hence this will make its “thinking process” faster. You may talk through this option with your technical partner if you’ll be talking about the speed of web application’s work. In this case, you may be sure the cache is definitely worth the time and costs you’ll spend on it.
.2 Asynchronous processing
Processes that don’t need to wait till the previous one is over to start may be asynchronized. For massive software it can be a drastic advantage since it nullifies some of the split-second glitches. And you probably know that even seconds are crucial to the Internet. Even the littlest glitch may not be forgiven!
This works something like that: when you send an email it automatically goes to the “sent” folder instead of “processing” folder. Technically it is still processing but this doesn’t take this much time to part and synchronize these processes.
To implement such a solution communicate and talk through with your technical partner.
Many entrepreneurs choose the cloud servers as a database that isn’t on a physical server. They nullify your need to rely on hardware which, in turn, helps with crashes and overloads avoiding. Just one statistics proves that this solution can be extremely beneficial in terms of scalable software development.
More than 50% of respondents answered the question “what are the advantages of cloud databases for your business?” that it helped them ensure greater scalability.
So think through all the pros and cons, our and your technical partner advice, and don’t wait any longer. Start your software with great scalability development and grant your project a bright future!
Counting all that we’ve outlined there is an ultimate conclusion. Scalability is not only an important aspect of your software development process but also a great deal when it comes to your business success. You need to think twice if you really ensured your software scalability when it comes to planning on business growth. This will allow you to gain advantage as a company, and as an individual businessman.
Perhaps the best solution right now will be finding a technical partner if you haven't done it yet. If so, then a mere friendly reminder: MassMedia Group is always in touch!