Back in the good old days of physical servers, you basically had two choices to increase the performance of your application: you either “scaled up”, by migrating to a beefier server with more RAM, CPUs/MHz, or you “scaled out”, by distributing your application load across multiple individual servers.

Interestingly, I still observe customers applying this way of thinking to virtual environments, using multiple VMs behind a virtual load balancer for scaling out application load.

Does this approach really make sense anymore? I think that it puts more load on a hypervisor to schedule multiple VMs for handling the workload than it would if the same load would be handled by one single powerful VM instance (with more vCPUs, more vRAM).

Does “Scale Out” still make any sense in a virtual environment? It probably also depends on the application and if it can effectively scale with more CPUs and memory, but in general I don’t think it is a valid approach.