Auto scaling is a feature close related to load balancing and is an intrinsic feature of cloud computing. It allows users to automatically scale up or down cloud resources like virtual machines and server capacities, depending on user needs. Auto scaling ensures that new instances are seamlessly increased during demand spikes and decreased during demand drops, enabling consistent performance for lower costs.
For companies running their own web server infrastructure, auto scaling would mean hibernating servers during times of low load, to save infrastructure costs. For companies using cloud infrastructure, auto scaling will lead to lower bills, because most cloud server providers charge based on total usage rather than maximum capacity. Auto scaling differs from having a fixed daily, weekly, or yearly cycle of server use in that it is responsive to actual usage patterns, and thus reduces the potential downside of having too few or too many servers for the traffic load.
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