Autoscale Applications in the IBM Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment

By Bo Yang and Uwe Fassnacht

Application auto-scaling capabilities in v2.1.0 of the IBM Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment

We are excited to announce the availability of application auto-scaling capabilities in v2.1.0 of the IBM Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment (CFEE) offering. This is built on the open-source App-Autoscaler project in the Cloud Foundry community.

Auto-scaling monitors your applications and automatically adjusts the number of application instances based on policies you control.

What’s in it for you?

Auto-scaling ensures an optimum number of application instances to maintain your desired quality of service so that you only use resources you really need. With auto-scaling, you gain the following benefits:

  • Optimum quality of service: The App-Autoscaler monitors your application instances along with application metrics and scales instances to maintain the quality of service you define in your scaling policies.

  • High availability: Auto-scaling helps you tune your application instance scaling based on rules you define so that your application does not get overloaded due to variable demand.

  • Optimum resource usage: Auto-scaling allows you to avoid over-provisioning applications and helps you to optimize the usage of your CFEE capacity.

App-Autoscaler features

App-Autoscaler is a Cloud Foundry open source extension project that started as an incubator project two years ago. The project was generally available in late 2018 and has since graduated to be a core Cloud Foundry project. It is already deployed in several production environments worldwide.

The App-Autoscaler allows you to define rules based on the following parameters:

  • Dynamic scaling based on CPU, memory, throughput, and response times

  • Scheduled scaling at specific times you define

Additionally, App-Autoscaler also provides a command-line interface for managing scaling policies, application metrics, and querying scaling event, and a web-based user interface that is tightly integrated with Stratos (another open source Cloud Foundry project).

App-Autoscaler features

How does App-Autoscaler compare with the existing auto-scaling service in IBM Cloud Foundry Public?

We have taken great care in maintaining a similar user experience between the existing auto-scaling service in Cloud Foundry Public and this new updated service in the Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment. The updated App-Autoscaler has the following additional advantages:

  • Simplified experience: You no longer need service binding to use this service from apps deployed to CFEE instances. You can directly configure the policy through the UI or CLI.

  • No application re-staging needed: You do not need to re-stage your CF applications to instrument them with your scaling policy metrics.

  • Runtime independent: The App-Autoscaler works in all CF runtimes with the same user-experience and scaling policies.

  • Matching pace with the CF community: Future features of the App-Autoscaler open-source project will be available without delay in IBM Cloud.

By the way, we like this new auto-scaling capability so much that we will be rolling it out soon in our IBM Cloud Foundry Public offering as well. Stay tuned!

How do I use it?

All future versions of CFEE (starting with v2.1.0) will have the App-Autoscaler included free of charge.

  1. Sign up for an IBM Cloud account or log in with your existing one.

  2. Create your own Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment instance.

  3. Push a CF application into your Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment.

  4. Consult the documentation for details on how to use the App-Autoscaler.

  5. Join us on our Slack feedback forum to send your feedback, ask questions, and engage with the product team. Request access here

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