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Table 1 A comparison of advantages and drawbacks of horizontal and vertical scaling

From: A survey on platforms for big data analytics

Scaling Advantages Drawbacks
Horizontal scaling ➔ Increases performance in small steps as needed ➔ Software has to handle all the data distribution and parallel processing complexities
➔ Financial investment to upgrade is relatively less ➔ Limited number of software are available that can take advantage of horizontal scaling
➔ Can scale out the system as much as needed
Vertical scaling ➔ Most of the software can easily take advantage of vertical scaling ➔ Requires substantial financial investment
➔ Easy to manage and install hardware within a single machine ➔ System has to be more powerful to handle future workloads and initially the additional performance in not fully utilized
➔ It is not possible to scale up vertically after a certain limit