Software development

Scalability Versus Elasticity: What’s the Difference, and Why Does It Matter?

By 13 lipca 20236 października, 2023No Comments

Horizontal Elasticity, often referred to as “elastic scaling”, addresses adjustments in capacity by manipulating the quantity of application instances running concurrently. In essence, when demand spikes, additional instances are spawned; conversely, when demand plummets, superfluous instances are terminated seamlessly. Finally, enterprises gain competitive advantage through quicker response times. Elastic cloud computing supports business growth since one doesn’t have to manually provision extra servers—instead they respond dynamically to events like traffic surges hence avoiding system downtimes.

For example, you may determine that you need a more powerful CPU and more memory for your application. In that case, scaling up will allow you to move your application to a more powerful VM. Users of an application require network connectivity to the computers that run the application. The application requires network connectivity to required back-end systems such as database servers.

What is scalability in cloud computing?

This feature reduces downtime, enhancing system performance significantly. Undeniably, Netflix’s effective use of elasticity vs scalability in cloud computing is integral for maintaining its reputation for seamless entertainment experiences regardless of the number of simultaneous users. Similar to elasticity, it ensures optimal full service availability and delivery even amid varying demands, but they are not the same – something I’ll shed light on later in this discussion.

difference between elasticity and scalability

With the emergence of the Internet, cloud computing, and virtualization, the processes of adapting the available resources to the demand became simple and even automatic. Specifically, the X-as-a-Service paradigm brings multiple new features to tackle these processes. While elasticity centers around meeting fluctuating workflows for a specific time, scalability addresses persistent growth over elongated periods. It’s a bigger step, and that involves a greater level of commitment towards the future.

Exploring Elasticity

To avoid crashing of server or slowdown of the system during a sudden spike, a concept was introduced in cloud computing called Cloud Elasticity. You can learn more about cloud computing and its advantages by taking Cloud Computing classes. In a complex cloud environment, things are bound to go wrong from time to time. Containers, often used synonymously with Dockers, have revolutionized the field of cloud computing. AI’s role in facilitating scalability in cloud computing can’t be overlooked either. Its full capacity planning for automated decision-making ensures that scaling operations occur smoothly without human intervention.

difference between elasticity and scalability

This is known as elastic block storage space (EBS), which continuously offers greater performance and significantly lowers latency. A virtual server or virtual computing environment that contains an operating system, CPU, RAM, storage, and network configurations is known as an elastic cloud computing instance. But the demand for cloud computing might vary for different users or organizations based on several factors. So, a business cannot just have a static number of resources for their ever changing dynamic demands.


It not only keeps track of load variations dynamically but also adjusts container allocations automatically – thus ensuring responsive elastic cloud scaling, without manual intervention. Before delving into their impact on these two fundamental characteristics of cloud computing – elastic scaling and scalability – it’s important to understand what containers are. Think of them as lightweight packages that hold your application code together with all its dependencies.

  • While the promises of elasticity and scalability in cloud computing are undoubtedly attractive, they aren’t without their obstacles.
  • Here are examples of when it is best to use either scaling approach to optimize your workloads.
  • Like in the hotel example, resources can come and go easily and quickly, as long as there is room for them.
  • Businesses are investing heavily in cloud computing resources, and professionals with the right set of skills are much in demand.

When a storage system does not have elasticity or on-demand elasticity, the storage admin must plan for the worst and build out that system for the estimated peak of demand for all applications concurrently. Doing so enables smooth operations during peak demand, but admins must overprovision and buy excessive processing, memory, cache and capacity. As a result, many storage admins significantly overestimate that peak demand. Cloud scalability and elasticity enable companies to have the system they need and calculate power without the expense of purchasing and setting up equipment. Since companies only pay for things they need and use, there’s no waste on capacity and resources that aren’t being used.

Scalability Versus Elasticity: What’s the Difference, and Why Does It Matter?

With scalability and elasticity, companies can quickly scale up or down resources to keep their services running smoothly during times of need. In addition, scalability and elasticity can help companies avoid costly over-provisioning of resources by scaling up or down when needed. It’s been ten years after NIST clarified the difference between Elasticity vs. Scalability. But the definition of scalability and elasticity in cloud computing is not complete without understanding the clear connection between both these terms.

These regulations differ by industry and by region and often pose additional restrictions on the way data is stored and managed within a cloud environment. This poses unique hurdles for companies trying to ensure compliance while enjoying both the benefits of elasticity in AWS or similar services such as Azure. While the promises of elasticity and scalability in cloud computing are undoubtedly attractive, they aren’t without their obstacles.

Cloud Computing MCQ

This could result in a crashed server and/or a decline in your service quality. Another important point to keep in mind is that the data kept in the instance storage will automatically destroy itself once the process has been stopped, thus, you should hibernate or stop using your instance. The traffic surge could quickly surpass your provided virtual machine if you only depended on scalability, resulting in service interruptions.

difference between elasticity and scalability

In other words, how to make this line as straight and as close to the horizontal as possible is the issue to be addressed in solving the scalability. Performance testing tools such as Apache JMeter or Gatling offer valuable insights into system behavior under varying load conditions. They simulate high usage loads and facilitate stress testing scenarios giving a glimpse into potential scalability limitations. With more difference between elasticity and scalability than a billion live listings at any given moment that face fluctuating traffic levels, eBay requires both elastic and scalable options available in their utilized cloud offerings. Thus using elasticity meaningfully forms part of a sound approach towards business innovation and continuity. Next sections will delve deeper into types of elasticity offering further insights into its application in different scenarios.

Importance of Elasticity in Cloud Computing

This is one of the most popular and beneficial features of cloud computing, as businesses can grow up or down to meet the demands depending on the season, projects, development, etc. As mentioned, renting computing solutions in the cloud is a very feasible option in today’s environment. There are tons of them, and you can consistently increase the workload and responsiveness of your system with just a fraction of the cost you’d need had you taken care of these issues the old way. In the old way, you would buy more servers to process new clients because your business has outgrown your capabilities.