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How to Build a Scalable Infrastructure: DevOps Leaders’ Best Practices

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How to Build a Scalable Infrastructure: DevOps Leaders’ Best Practices
Author: DuploCloud | Thursday, January 18 2024

Meet the fluctuating demands of a global user base

Demand is challenging to predict. While some fluctuation is normal in cloud-native application development, sometimes traffic spikes or complex workloads require you to rapidly spin up additional resources when needed and decommission them when they aren’t to reduce costs. 

Scalable infrastructure is the key to meeting this challenge, and building it from the ground up ensures you can meet these unpredictable demands without encountering unforeseen issues. Whether you’re running a start-up looking to expand to a broader market or improving the scalability of your enterprise offerings, these best practices will help provide a solid foundation that can grow as your workload expands.

7 Best Practices for Building Scalable Infrastructure

Automate Wherever Possible

Automation is one of the most crucial elements of modern, scalable infrastructure. Automating everyday developer tasks — such as testing, deployment, or provisioning — speeds up development times, improving efficiency and reducing overall time to market. It can also help to reduce the chances of introducing human error into your product, reducing the possibility of accidentally creating security vulnerabilities or impacting the customer experience.

If an element of your infrastructure can be automated, it should be automated. Rely on tools that will reduce the overall lift necessary to build and scale the infrastructure essential for global deployments. For example, DuploCloud can automatically provision a secure and compliant cloud infrastructure to help reduce deployment times and enable developer self-service. It’s also mapped to crucial security and compliance standards like HIPAA and PCI DSS, ensuring that your product adheres to necessary regulations and always remains secure. Find out how DuploCloud can help you speed up deployment times by a factor of ten. 

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Immutable Infrastructure Reduces Errors

There are two methods for developing and updating infrastructure. Traditionally, developers have relied on mutable (or variable) infrastructure, where updates and modifications are made continuously directly to live infrastructure. While this approach makes it easier to make adjustments as needed, doing so can lead to configuration drift, causing infrastructure to fall out of spec.

Instead, take an immutable approach to scaling infrastructure. This approach requires development teams to adjust a similar but separate infrastructure, spin it up when it’s ready, and then decommission the old infrastructure once the new one is live. This approach makes your infrastructure more reliable and secure, especially as it scales to meet demand.

Use Horizontal Scaling to Spread Out Workloads

When scaling a cloud infrastructure to process more intense workloads, it will naturally need more resources. There are two approaches to scaling these resources.

Vertical scaling is the process of simply adding more compute resources or storage space to your infrastructure. While relatively easy to implement, it’s difficult to automate and can be limited by how much money or space you can allocate to these resources. Plus, once demand decreases, you will have additional resources you no longer need.

To address this, utilize automated processes that will scale these resources horizontally for you in the cloud. Instead of adding additional resources to a single instance (or node), you can automate the creation of additional nodes that will handle this workload and destroy themselves when they are no longer needed. 

This process is more complex than vertical scaling but will help you meet these workload demands more efficiently. Tools like Kubernetes will help you maximize resource utilization through horizontal scaling. 

Rely on a Modular Approach

If one part of your infrastructure fails, you want to ensure it won’t bring your entire product down. A modular approach to infrastructure scaling through microservices will help you achieve this.

Microservices are crucial components of modern architecture. By filtering out necessary tasks to smaller services, you can compartmentalize the maintenance of your infrastructure into more manageable chunks. This process also ensures that the rest of your infrastructure keeps running if one microservice falters.

Monitor Performance and Fix Bottlenecks as They Arise

Optimizing performance or fixing issues will be difficult if you don’t have a view into how your infrastructure is performing. 

Real-time monitoring like DuploCloud's Automation Platform offers built-in tools to view metrics across your entire infrastructure. These tools will show you when certain aspects of your infrastructure are underperforming or being throttled, and can even send out email notifications with built-in alert systems. 

Judicious use of performance monitoring tools will ensure you have the resources to keep your product running and help you avoid future issues by predicting where bottlenecks will likely occur.

Build Redundancies Into Your Infrastructure

When planning how your organization will scale its infrastructure, don’t forget to prioritize reliability and disaster recovery. Building scalable redundancies into your infrastructure will ensure operations continue even during emergencies.

These redundancies can come in several forms. 

  • Backup hardware will help to keep systems running when physical hardware goes offline, preventing data loss and keeping operations from shutting down completely.
  • Deploying across multiple regions ensures your product can avoid service disruptions if data centers experience an outage.
  • Load balancing shares the workload across multiple servers, smoothing out performance during heavy workloads or when an influx of users strains systems.

Create Internal Policies That Prioritize Scalability

Building scalable processes requires that every team member is on board. Develop internal strategies that value automating tasks, use immutable development techniques, and focus on utilizing an array of microservices. Codify these processes with internal documentation and regularly review them as the team encounters additional information or new challenges. Doing so will ensure your development processes can scale along with your team.

Build Scalable Infrastructure With DuploCloud

Automation is vital to building a robust, secure infrastructure that can scale as your needs grow. DuploCloud is the best tool for helping you make it.

DuploCloud is a DevOps Automation Platform tailor-made for startups and enterprise businesses looking to streamline development pipelines. Its powerful automation capabilities and no-code/low-code interface make provisioning development environments and deploying applications more accessible than ever. And its out-of-the-box security and compliance features and 24/7 monitoring ensure that all aspects of development adhere to stringent control sets. 

Ready to learn how DuploCloud can enhance infrastructure scalability for your organization? Contact us today for a demonstration

Author: DuploCloud | Thursday, January 18 2024