Guide to Vertical and Horizontal Blockchain Scaling

Horizontal scaling refers to adding more machines in a system whereas Vertical Scaling refers to adding more power (like CPU, RAM) in an existing machine. Do you know you can use Vertical and Horizontal Scaling in Blockchain Technology? How will it improve a Blockchain? In the Guide to Vertical and Horizontal Blockchain Scaling, we will uncover the operation of Vertical and Horizontal Scaling along with how it can scale up or scale out the Blockchain. 

11 February, 2020, | AtoZ Markets – In a normal sense, scalability enhancements came from the idea of “layering”. Layering is a specific element that works alongside the particular digital counterpart in some type of sequential and hierarchical manner. Horizontal and Vertical scaling enhanced the capacity of a system, network or process to deal with a growing transaction load.

In terms of Blockchain technology, the architect of Vertical and Horizontal Solutions indicates that the micropayment doesn’t need similar security as a $1 billion BTC transaction. For example, gaming and gambling apps can use these products like Liquidapps’ vRAM for off-chain storage, or Plasma. They can boost the capacity by using any of the systems. Therefore, they will be able to provide better performance.

But the challenge is to find the right option. In terms of capacity enhancement, which one can provide the best performance? Vertical Scaling or Horizontal Scaling?

It depends. There are several factors to know how to identify the right scaling for a particular Blockchain.

In the next section, we will disclose the truth behind the use of Vertical and Horizontal Scaling in Blockchain. If you are enthusiastic about Blockchain technology, you should go through all of these to keep your brain one step ahead of others. 

Vertical and Horizontal Blockchain Scaling

Blockchain scaling solutions are basically choices that are suitable for some projects, but not suitable to others.  In some blockchain, horizontal scaling can boost the speed, but vertical scaling cannot. On the other hand, there are some blockchains that require vertical scaling to speed up the process. Therefore, identify the right one is the key. 

Why does the Blockchain technology needs scaling?

Despite data security and safety, the major lacking of Blockchain technology is speed. It needs enormous time to process a transaction that is far behind the traditional transaction systems. Despite the investment of time and amount into blockchain scaling, we still don’t know which solutions will prevail. Bigger blocks are building up by developing horizontally. In the here and now, the architects of next-generation blockchains are taking a lesson that bitcoiner’s have learned long ago as there is no infinite scalability.

Second-generation blockchain represents a faster, cheaper, and more scalable than Bitcoin. Third generation chains may come with even greater optimizations.

If you want to adopt Blockchain technology what you expect from the next generation chains?

Let’s have a look at What You Should Know about Vertical and Horizontal Blockchain Scaling.

#1 The Concept of Vertical and Horizontal Scaling

Vertical blockchain scaling means the expansion of a network by adding more power and memory to a system. On the other side, horizontal scaling includes the addition of more nodes to the framework of a current system.

The easiest way to memorize the concept is to think of a machine on a server rack. We can add more machines across the horizontal direction and add more resources in the vertical direction. In both cases, the main aim is to speed up the capacity of a machine but in a different way. 

Horizontal Scaling referred to as “scale-out” and the Vertical Scaling as the “scale-up”. However, when handling scalability, it’s important that the concept is invoked when the transaction capacity extends to a selected platform.

#2 How Does Vertical & Horizontal Scaling Work?

Vertical scaling is completed by improving the efficiency of the particular hardware or a software system. On the other hand, horizontal scaling is achieved by increasing the platform’s overall throughput capacity.

In simple terms, general scalability improvements are made through the utilization of an idea called “layering”. In this idea, each component of a particular system forms to interact with its digital counterparts in a sequential and hierarchical way.

If you want to improve a system, you can put something into it to improve efficiency, or you can add more systems. This is a simple concept.

More specifically, Horizontal scaling implements by adding more clusters or virtual machines to a system. Therefore, it is possible to increase the transaction load. Vertical scaling, on the opposite hand, is achieved by adding more processing power into an existing virtual machine.

Why do you care about these?

If you are interested in the blockchain and crypto industry, you might have known the hype of the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 upgrade. The reason behind this is that it seeks to enhance the project’s overall transactional capacity. In this process, there are a variety of design changes with one among the first ones being sharding.

By implementing these changes, Ethereum’s core framework may port from an executing environment. Therefore, to have multiple execution environments that will validate transactions in parallel. However, the interesting thing is that the upgrade of Ethereum 2.0 includes the consideration of Vertical and Horizontal scaling.

#3 How Does Scaling Work with Blockchains

Blockchain scaling works accurately with traditional databases. However, from a security standpoint, scalable blockchains are far more useful and pragmatic.

When importing the concept of scalability within blockchain technology, it highlights that blockchain systems are distributed networks. Therefore, it is difficult to extend a network’s overall throughput by adding more hardware entities like miners, nodes or validators.

To be more specific, horizontal scaling tends to extend the trust or security of a network. However, it generally leads to the general performance of the system to degrade.

On the other hand, vertical scaling means making each inner component of a system faster and stronger. This, from the standpoint of a distributed ledger-based system, implies the utilization of supercomputer nodes. However, the downside to all or any specifies that few individuals are capable of running such nodes.

Read More: Things You Should Know About Zero-Knowledge Proofs

#4 Example of Blockchain Scalability

Over the past few years, a variety of firms have worked to unravel scalability issues that have plagued the crypto sector.

LiquidApps is a horizontal scaling solution that allows developers to access a bigger supply of decentralized computation power in the decentralized application (DApp). These service providers perform processing and return results to the requesting DApp. One of the most important selling points of vCPU is its ability to enable DApps to settle on the extent of trustlessness that’s appropriate and suitable as per the requirements and requirements of a specific use case.

Another example is EOS. The main aim of EOS is to overcome many of the industry’s existing scalability issues. The biggest difference of EOS with vCPU is its multiprocessing technology that is possible through the utilization of certain elements within vertical scaling.

On the other hand, Temtum’s temporal protocol ensures the availability of data among nodes. However, the present node doesn’t have the exact space for storing to carry the complete blockchain. Therefore, it reduces the entry barrier for brand spanking new nodes joining the network.

The cost to participate in the network is low. Moreover, the quantity of resources required to run nodes is low to utilize the capabilities of idle nodes.

#5 Limitations of Horizontal and Vertical Scaling

Pure vertical scaling is limited in its effectiveness but is comparatively easier to realize. Horizontal scaling helps improve the general throughput of a system but takes longer to develop.

In order to raise an understanding of the difficulty, it often examines the bottleneck performance of a system. A bottleneck represents a situation wherein excessive demand in a system affects the performance of the platform.

For example, there might be a problem that the virtual machine’s local memory is not sufficient to process all of the incoming transactions. Therefore, by adding additional memory to the framework, the general load can be eliminated.

On the flip side, sometimes a platform’s existing hardware can not handle incoming transaction load. Therefore, one can rectify this by employing a horizontal scale.


For blockchain platforms, the scalability allows right down to the extent of decentralization possessed by the network. Highly decentralized ecosystems like Bitcoin are slow now. Therefore, it is high time to find a source that can process transactions at a good speed.

However, it is important to identify which blockchain scaling can meet your requirements. The horizontal scaling is much powerful to enhance capacity, but it is relatively complex and costly. Therefore, simply bringing new hardware and adding more nodes or machines are not right for every time. First, you should see requirements that can ensure your needs by increasing the capacity of a single machine, which is often called as vertical scaling. If it does not work, then go with the horizontal scaling approach or a combination of both.

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