More Servers Won’t Always Fix Your Scaling Problems

At the end of March, Slack CEO Steward Butterfield posted a screenshot that graphed the number of newly created work teams on the platform from January through March. The graph is flat for the first two and a half months, then suddenly shoots up around March 12 — the time when offices around the country began to close and workers started working from home due to COVID-19.

Slack uses AWS, so it was able to autoscale and keep up with demand. But while using a cloud service can be a good way of handling a sudden increase in usage, not all companies use external cloud services, and scaling problems can be complex.

MORE ON ENGINEERINGWhen Microservices Aren’t the Answer

 

metrics illustration
Looking at performance metrics and usage data together helps determine whether you’re seeing a scaling problem. |…

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