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Horizontal scaling vs Vertical scaling

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

How we can process over 300 000 transactions per second

Horizontal scaling, also known as scaling out, is a method used to increase the capacity and performance of a blockchain network by adding more nodes to the network. It is a contrast to vertical scaling, which involves adding more resources to a single node.

When it comes to traditional blockchains, horizontal scaling presents several advantages over vertical scaling. Most blockchains, often face scalability challenges due to their limited transaction processing capabilities. As more users join the network and the volume of transactions increases, these blockchains can become congested, leading to slower transaction confirmation times and higher fees.

Implementing horizontal scaling in a blockchain-powered payment infrastructure offers several benefits over vertical scaling. In this publication, we explore some of these advantages:

Enhanced Scalability

Horizontal scaling allows for the addition of more nodes or networks to the system, thereby increasing its overall capacity and scalability. By distributing the workload across multiple nodes, the infrastructure can handle a larger volume of transactions and accommodate growing user demand. This scalability is crucial for payment systems that need to process a high number of transactions quickly and efficiently.

Improved Performance

With horizontal scaling, the workload is divided among multiple nodes, enabling parallel processing of transactions. This parallelization can significantly enhance the system's performance by reducing processing times and increasing transaction throughput. As a result, the payment infrastructure can handle a higher number of transactions per second, providing a smoother and more responsive payment experience for users. This is especially crucial for applications and use cases that require high transaction throughput, such as banks, other payment systems or currency exchanges.

Fault Tolerance and Redundancy

Another advantage of horizontal scaling is enhanced fault tolerance and resilience. By having multiple nodes in the network, the blockchain becomes more resilient to failures or attacks on individual nodes. If one node goes offline or becomes compromised, the network can continue to operate seamlessly with the remaining nodes. This redundancy increases the overall security and reliability of the blockchain infrastructure.

Elasticity and Flexibility

Horizontal scaling offers the advantage of scalability on-demand. It allows for dynamic addition or removal of nodes based on the changing transaction load. This elasticity provides flexibility in adjusting the infrastructure's capacity to meet fluctuating demands, ensuring optimal resource utilization and cost-effectiveness.

Geographic Distribution

Horizontal scaling enables the deployment of nodes in different geographic locations. This geographical distribution can improve the network's responsiveness by bringing the processing capabilities closer to the users. It also enhances resilience against regional disruptions or latency issues, ensuring a consistent payment experience across different locations.

Cost Efficiency

Horizontal scaling can be a cost-effective approach with better resource utilization compared to vertical scaling. With more nodes participating in the network, the computational and storage resources are distributed, preventing bottlenecks and maximizing the utilization of available resources. This leads to improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness compared to vertical scaling, which often requires expensive hardware upgrades to a single node. In other words, instead of investing in expensive hardware upgrades for individual nodes, horizontal scaling allows for the use of commodity hardware and the addition of more cost-efficient nodes. This scalability model enables organizations to scale their payment infrastructure without incurring significant upfront costs.

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