Scaling horizontally takes place through an increase in the number of resources (e.g., adding more hard drives to a storage array or adding more servers to support an application). This is a great way to build Internet-scale applications that leverage the elasticity of cloud computing.
Scaling vertically takes place through an increase in the specifications of an individual resource (e.g., upgrading a server with a larger hard drive, adding more memory, or provisioning a faster CPU). On Amazon EC2, this can easily be achieved by stopping an instance and resizing it to an instance type that has more RAM, CPU, I/O,or networking capabilities. This way of scaling can eventually hit a limit and it is not always a cost efficient or highly available approach. However, it is very easy to implement and can be sufficient for many use cases especially as a short term solution.
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