Unlocking Performance and Adaptability: Exploring Kubernetes Vertical Autoscaling

Alex Vazquez
5 min readJun 1
Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Kubernetes has introduced as its alpha version in its Kubernetes 1.27 release the Vertical Pod Autoscaling capability to provide the option for the Kubernetes workload to be able to scale using the “vertical” approach by adding more resources to an existing pod. This increases the autoscaling capabilities of your Kubernetes workloads that you have at your disposal such as KEDA or Horizontal Pod Autoscaling.

Vertical Scaling vs Horizontal Scaling

Vertical and horizontal scaling are two approaches used in scaling up the performance and capacity of computer systems, particularly in distributed systems and cloud computing. Vertical scaling, also known as scaling up or scaling vertically, involves adding more resources, such as processing power, memory, or storage, to a single instance or server. This means upgrading the existing compute components or migrating to a more powerful infrastructure. Vertical scaling is often straightforward to implement and requires minimal changes to the software architecture. It is commonly used when the system demands can be met by a single, more powerful infrastructure.

On the other hand, horizontal scaling, also called scaling out or scaling horizontally, involves adding more instances or servers to distribute the workload. Instead of upgrading a single instance, multiple instances are employed, each handling a portion of the workload. Horizontal scaling offers the advantage of increased redundancy and fault tolerance since multiple instances can share the load. Additionally, it provides the ability to handle larger workloads by simply adding more machines to the cluster. However, horizontal scaling often requires more complex software architectures, such as load balancing and distributed file systems, to efficiently distribute and manage the workload across the machines.

In summary, vertical scaling involves enhancing the capabilities of a single object, while horizontal scaling involves distributing the workload across multiple instances. Vertical scaling is easier to implement but may have limitations in terms of the maximum resources available on a single machine. Horizontal scaling provides better scalability and fault tolerance but requires more…

Alex Vazquez

PSG Senior Architect at TIBCO Software with a focus on Cloud Development, Event Processing and Enterprise Integration

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