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Nov 14, 2022 11:34:39 AM by Yura Vasilevitski

Auto-Scaling AWS

AWS, Cloud Computing, Auto-Scaling

It was not too long ago, that businesses needed to manage their AWS resources to meet scaling demand manually. You had to purchase hardware, keep track of it, and figure out what resources you needed to meet your customers' needs. This was a lot of work, and it didn't give you full visibility into how much capacity was available at any given time. Fortunately for us, AWS has taken this burden off our shoulders and introduced automatic scaling functionality that can be used with different configurations depending on what kind of workloads you're running on their platform.

Scale based on metrics

It's easy to forget that the entire world is not Amazon Web Services. Scaling up and down based on usage can be trickier when your app resides outside AWS.

Fortunately, third-party services make it possible to scale based on an application metric like CPU or memory usage. You can use these services to trigger scaling events when an event is reached (e.g., if CPU usage reaches 80%) or a specific threshold (e.g., if CPU usage reaches 100%).

For example, you can set up Amazon CloudWatch alarms to notify you when certain metrics reach predefined thresholds and then configure auto-scaling policies to scale out or automatically respond to those notifications!

Scale based on time 

Scaling up or down, depending on what kind of action it is. There are many ways these values can be set depending on what kind of system architecture and performance needs exist within any given organization. 

However, keep in mind that higher values mean more flexibility but also more risk because they allow larger swings above/below their thresholds before triggering actions themselves--which means fewer false positives while still allowing us some room for error. For example, if you wanted my alarm set up so that whenever CPU utilization goes above 80%, then your auto-scaling group would launch another m3 large instance into production. However, if my CPU utilization drops below 50%, then my auto-scaling group would terminate one of its m3 large instances so as not to waste resources any more than necessary.

Launch Configs

A launch configuration is a collection of settings you can use to launch instances. You can use launch configurations to save time when launching instances by giving you the option to configure them once and then replicate them multiple times.

For example, if you want to launch an instance inside the EC2 zone in VPC with a security group that allows SSH connections from anywhere but only from other AWS accounts owned by your company, then all you have to do is create a launch config and attach it as an attribute for each instance type (EC2 Linux) in which you want this specific configuration applied.

Target Groups

So, you've decided that you want to scale up or down? You're in luck because AWS has a handy feature called target groups. Target groups allow you to manage the number of running instances, which can be used in conjunction with autoscaling groups or launch configs.

Target groups come in two flavors: one for scaling services and another for scaling capacity on EC2 instances. The former is used when you want to scale up or down your application's resources; the latter helps optimize your use of Amazon EBS volumes.

AWS will automatically scale to meet the demand

AWS will automatically scale to meet demand. This can be intimidating for some people, but rest assured that AWS will not send an army of servers over to your data center and start using them for crypto mining or something.

The automatic scaling process is based on health checks and monitoring metrics like CPU and memory usage. If there's no activity happening on an instance you're running, it won't be scaled back up again until it is needed.

In addition to this feature being smart enough not to waste time or resources scaling instances when they aren't needed, it also reduces costs by not having unnecessary resources sitting idle in the cloud when they can instead be used elsewhere where they may have been requested.


AWS is a powerful and flexible cloud platform, but it can initially be overwhelming. Luckily for you, we've covered all the ways AWS can automatically scale your application and infrastructure so you can focus on what matters: building great software. For any additional assistance, book a free consultation call today!


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