Cloud Computing: Elasticity vs Scalability

Elasticity vs Scalability - Complete Controller

There is a wide variety of cloud computing aspects that Information Technology (IT) managers and Business CIOs (Chief Information Officers) must consider when adopting cloud services within their corporate infrastructure. Security, performance, cost, availability, accessibility, and reliability are some of the common areas to consider. Cloud elasticity and cloud scalability are additional criteria that have been added to this list of factors that will influence your decisions. They are as impactful to cloud computing as bookkeeping is to financial reports.

Although many people tend to use these technical terms interchangeably, there are several contrasting differences between elasticity and scalability. Interpreting these distinctions is imperative to ensure that your business needs are properly met with optimal efficiency. ADP. Payroll – HR – Benefits

Elasticity vs. Scalability

Elasticity is used to match the resources that have been allocated with the resource amounts required at a given instance. On the other hand, scalability tackles an application’s varying requirements within the parameters of the infrastructure through removing or adding resources statically to fulfill application needs whenever demanded. This phenomenon is handled, in most cases, by vertical scaling (scaling-up) and/or horizontal scaling (scaling out). Regarding sizing, elasticity is less targeted and powerful in nature than scalability.

Typically, cloud elasticity performs optimally in applications including mobile, Service as a Software (SaaS), Dev Ops (Development and IT Operations), e-commerce and retail, and other environments that exhibit persistently varying needs in infrastructure services. Cloud scalability is expected to render better cost-saving advantages for organizations that demonstrate a feasible workload featuring stable performance and capacity planning and can predict a growing or constant workload.

Cloud Elasticity

Typically, elasticity is a system’s ability to shrink or expand infrastructure resources potentially as required to adjust to workload variations autonomously, ensuring resource efficiencies. Not everyone can take advantage of elastic services. Environments not experiencing cyclical or sudden variations in requirement may not see most of the cost-saving advantages that elastic-servicers can offer. Application of ‘Elastic Services’ usually means that each resource available in the system infrastructure has to be elastic. Such resources include software, hardware, connectivity, Quality of Service (QoS), and other matters that are utilized in inelastic applications. Thus, it may be a negative trait where certain applications’ performances should have guaranteed performance. Download A Free Financial Toolkit

Cloud elasticity is a renowned feature related to horizontal scaling or scale-out solutions that allows for system resources to be added or removed dynamically whenever required. Elasticity is generally featured in pay-as-you-expand or pay-per-use services and is commonly related to public cloud resources.

Cloud Scalability

More often, scalability includes the system’s ability to grow workload sizes within pre-existing hardware, software, and other related infrastructure without impacting performance. Resources that need to support the workload have pre-planned capacity featuring a certain amount built in to tackle peak requirements. In some cases, even without a hard limit, the ability to grow with extra infrastructure resources also falls under scalability. It can either be horizontal or vertical. Thus, applications must have enough room to scale out or scale up to prevent performance hindrances due to lack of resourcefulness. There are several cases where a company’s IT manager knows that there is no further need for resources and subsequently will statically scale down the infrastructure to support a new, smaller environment. Exit Advisor

Where Scalability and Elasticity Cross Paths

Some cloud services are considered adaptable solutions with incredible services where both elasticity and scalability are offered. Each of them allows the IT department of an organization to contract or expand their services or resources according to their needs while also offering the benefits of pay-as-you-grow to scale for output and resource requirements to fulfill Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Effective incorporation of each of these potential capabilities is paramount for an organization’s IT manager, whose system infrastructure is persistently fluctuating without any pause.

To handle the grown capacity, the supplementary infrastructure is only utilized initially in a pay-as-you-expand model and subsequently ‘shrinks’ back to a decreased volume for the rest of the year. It also ensures extra unanticipated and sudden sales activities throughout the year whenever required without affecting availability or performance.

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