3 cloud architecture patterns that optimize scalability and cost

The two most mentioned advantages of cloud-based platforms are pay-per-use billing and the ability to scale up to an almost unlimited number of resources. No more buying ahead of resource demand, attempting to guess the amount of physical hardware and software that you’ll need.

But enterprise IT needs to understand that scale and costs are coupled concepts in cloud computing. The more resources you use, either self-scaling or auto-scaling, the more you pay. How much you pay may depend on the architecture patterns as much as on the cost of the resources themselves. Here’s why.

In building cloud-based systems, I’ve discovered that cloud architecture is really just making a bunch of the right decisions. Those who make bad decisions are not punished, they are just underoptimized. That everything works conceals the fact that you’re paying twice as much as you would if the architecture were fully optimized as to scaling and cost.

This can be a major factor when deciding whether or not to refactor/rewrite applications to be optimized for a specific cloud platform (cloud native). Or when selecting core enabling technology such as microservices, event driven, containers, container orchestration, etc. These decisions determine what you’ll see in your cloud bill at the end of the month.

What should architects think about when it comes to cost and scalability? I have a few general architecture patterns to follow:

Learn to tune cloud-based applications for the optimization of all cloud services that the applications may need. In other words, optimize applications so that they use the fewest number of resources to process data and drive function.

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