A cloud solution may be a home run on things like reliability, security and performance, but if it lacks adaptability, decision makers may want to turn elsewhere. The ability to scale up is not as efficient as reacting swiftly to a downtime or service shutdown. A good use case for Cloud Elasticity that everyone would be able to relate to is streaming services like Netflix. A new movie or a season of a famous show could mean a sudden traffic surge of people logged in to watch Netflix on the weekend. This sudden spike can be handled by a surge of compute resources provisioned for a small amount of time.

  • Systems that completely replicate all data across all nodes can be slow to scale up as you replicate all of the data to the new node but fast to scale down as no data needs to be redistributed.
  • Say we have a system of 5 computers that does 5 work units, if we need one more work unit to be done we we’ll have to use one more computer.
  • The goal is always to ensure these two metrics match up to ensure the system performs at its peak and cost-effectively.
  • But a scalable system can use increased compute capacity and handle more load without impacting the overall performance of the system.
  • Scalability and elasticity are often confused, but they are distinct attributes of a data center or cloud environment.
  • Scalability supports any sudden surge in the demand/traffic with current set of resources.
  • When your demand booms, it’s easy to scale up to accommodate the new load.

Naturally, at those times, you will require more resources; but do you really want to pay for the larger machines or more machines to be running all the time? This is a major area where cloud computing can help, but we need to take into account the workload. Scalability and elasticity are ways in which we can deal with the scenarios described above. Vertical scale, e.g., Scale-Up – can handle an increasing workload by adding resources to the existing infrastructure.

I think these definitions capture the differences between Scalability vs Elasticity better and I will try to summarize with some additional views of my own. To help you think about the differences between these two, let’s try two images. First, visualize an elastic band stretching out or back into its original size. Now, imagine someone scaling up the side of a cliff — going up or down the cliff as their path dictates, without the cliff ever changing shape. MTTS is extremely fast, usually taking a few milliseconds, as all data interactions are with in-memory data. However, all services must connect to the broker, and the initial cache load must be created with a data reader.

The answer is scalability and elasticity — two essential aspects of cloud computing that greatly benefit businesses. Let’s talk about the differences between scalability and elasticity and see how they can be built at cloud infrastructure, application and database levels. Horizontal scaling works a little differently and, generally speaking, provides a more reliable way to add resources to our application. Scaling out is when we add additional instances that can handle the workload.

Growing performance helps to work with high efficiency, and it must be able to work with different applications. It is used for businesses where the resource needs a deployment to handle workload efficiently. Cloud elasticity is the ability to gain or reduce computing resources such as CPU/processing, RAM, input/output bandwidth, and storage capacities on demand without causing system performance disruptions.

Cloud costs grow exponentially with scale, and this arrangement is expensive, especially regarding maintenance time for development and operations engineers. When it comes to scalability, businesses must watch out for over-provisioning or under-provisioning. This happens when tech teams don’t provide quantitative metrics around the resource requirements for applications or the back-end idea of scaling is not aligned with business goals. To determine a right-sized solution, ongoing performance testing is essential.

What Is The Difference Between The Scalability And Elasticity?

Elasticity can handle the up-and-down nature of website hits, sales demand, and similar business needs in a rapid and often automated manner. Organizations with sudden or cyclical changes will most often need elastic capabilities in at least some areas. Scalability and elasticity difference between scalability and elasticity are often confused, but they are distinct attributes of a data center or cloud environment. Scalability generally refers to more predictable infrastructure expansions. If a particular application gains users, the servers devoted to it can be scaled up or scaled out.

Many factors are affected by the choice of service provider, including performance stability and customization. Adapting the availability of computing resources according to the demand is a historical demand in the computing scenario.Scalability. In short, scalability consists of the ability of a system to be responsive as the demand increases over time.Elasticity. VPLS is your trusted global provider for cloud-to-edge computing and technology services. From hardware and software procurement to managed services, VPLS has the technical expertise and global reach for all your cloud, colocation, hosting, backup, data center, and disaster recovery needs.

scalability and elasticity difference

Scalability and elasticity represent a system that can grow in both capacity and resources, making them somewhat similar. The real difference lies in the requirements and conditions under which they function. Scalability and elasticity are the most misunderstood concepts in cloud computing. It comes in handy when the system is expected to experience sudden spikes of user activity and, as a result, a drastic increase in workload demand. Now, lets say that the same system uses, instead of it’s own computers, a cloud service that is suited for it’s needs.

Elasticity is the ability of the system to scale up or down depending on load. For example, if you have an application that is supported by two servers during normal hours, you could add more servers to support higher loads during peak hours. Instead, they can lease VMs to handle the traffic for that particular period. Customers wouldn’t notice any performance changes or have more customers in that specific year.

You should know that some cloud services are accounted for adaptable solutions with incredible services where both elasticity and scalability are offered. Effective incorporation of each of these potential capabilities is of paramount consideration for an organization’s IT manager whose system infrastructure is persistently fluctuating without any pause. As you can see, elasticity and scalability are two very different things.

Elasticity is a measure of how quick and easy it is to increase and decrease the resources dedicated to performing some task. Yet, nobody can predict when you may need to take advantage of a sudden wave of interest in your company. So, what do you do when you need to be ready for that opportunity but do not want to waste your cloud budget speculating? Existing customers would also revisit old wishlists, abandoned carts, or try to redeem accumulated points. This would put a lot more load on your servers during the campaign’s duration than at most times of the year. Over-provisioning leads to cloud spend wastage, while under-provisioning can lead to server outages as available servers are overworked.

What Is Scalability In Cloud Computing?

An elastic system should immediately detect this condition and provision nine additional machines from the cloud, so as to serve all web users responsively. It means if there is an Ups and down in the workload, elasticity will help manage it. At the same time, cloud scalability allows the situation like static increases in the workload. Cloud scalability is essential to handle businesses with their full workload without disturbing the growing performance.

scalability and elasticity difference

Most organizations reevaluate resource planning at least annually or, during periods of rapid growth, even monthly. As they predict more customers, more employees, etc., they can anticipate IT needs and scale appropriately. This can happen in reverse as well; organizations can downscale in response to business fall-off, increased efficiencies, and other reasons. In this healthcare application case study, this distributed architecture would mean each module is its own event processor; there’s flexibility to distribute or share data across one or more modules. There’s some flexibility at an application and database level in terms of scale as services are no longer coupled. The hospital’s services are in high demand, and to support the growth, they need to scale the patient registration and appointment scheduling modules.

To scale vertically , you add or subtract power to an existing virtual server by upgrading memory , storage or processing power . This means that the scaling has an upper limit based on the capacity of the server or machine being scaled; scaling beyond that often requires downtime. If your existing architecture can quickly and automatically provision new web servers to handle this load, your https://globalcloudteam.com/ design is elastic. In the grand scheme of things, cloud elasticity and cloud scalability are two parts of the whole. Both of them are related to handling the system’s workload and resources. New employees need more resources to handle an increasing number of customer requests gradually, and new features are introduced to the system (like sentiment analysis, embedded analytics, etc.).

Scale In The Cloud

Achieving cloud elasticity means you don’t have to meticulously plan resource capacities or spend time engineering within the cloud environment to account for upscaling or downscaling. A business that experiences unpredictable workloads but doesn’t want a preplanned scaling strategy might seek an elastic solution in the public cloud, with lower maintenance costs. This would be managed by a third-party provider and shared with multiple organizations using the public internet. When it comes to the adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise, CIOs and other decision makers must evaluate potential cloud solutions on a number of criteria. Things like cost, performance, security and reliability come up often as key points of interest to IT departments.

scalability and elasticity difference

This method tends to take more time and is more complex, but it allows you to connect servers together, handle traffic efficiently and execute concurrent workloads. Instead of paying for and adding permanent capacity to handle increased demand that lasts a few days at a time, they’ll pay only for the few days of extra allocated resources by going with elastic services. This allows sites to handle any unexpected surges in traffic at any given time, with no effects on performance. Cloud elasticity does its job by providing the necessary amount of resources as is required by the corresponding task at hand. Sometimes elasticity and scalability are presented as a single service, but each of these services provides very distinct functionalities. It’s up to each individual business or service to determine which serves their needs best.

System scalability is the system’s infrastructure to scale for handling growing workload requirements while retaining a consistent performance adequately. Usually, when someone says a platform or architectural scales, they mean that hardware costs increase linearly with demand. For example, if one server can handle 50 users, 2 servers can handle 100 users and 10 servers can handle 500 users. If every 1,000 users you get, you need 2x the amount of servers, then it can be said your design does not scale, as you would quickly run out of money as your user count grew. Like in the hotel example, resources can come and go easily and quickly, as long as there is room for them. Of course, vertical scaling can lead to over-provisioning which can be quite costly.


If you take their most basic definitions, they seem to mean the same – if not almost the same – thing. Scalability focuses on coping with expansion and elasticity equates to sensitivity to changes. Much debate has centered around the scalability vs elasticity topic regarding blockchains. Today, we delve into what each of these terms means and what they signify for the future of blockchain technology.

Cloud Elasticity Vs Cloud Scalability

No wonder the big decision about doing business with a cloud service provider can feel so overwhelming. One important one is the distinction between cloud elasticity v cloud scalability. Tech-enabled startups, including in healthcare, often go with this traditional, unified model for software design because of the speed-to-market advantage. But it is not an optimal solution for businesses requiring scalability and elasticity. This is because there is a single integrated instance of the application and a centralized single database. Let’s take a simple healthcare application – which applies to many other industries, too – to see how it can be developed across different architectures and how that impacts scalability and elasticity.

Scalability Vs Elasticity In Cloud Computing

Scalability is the ability of a system to remain responsive as the number of users and traffic gradually increases over time. Most B2B and B2C applications that gain usage will require this to ensure reliability, high performance and uptime. The demand for infrastructure resources – compute, storage, and network – are often not static in nature.

Scalable computing is typically broken out into vertical scaling and horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling is the ability to increase the capacity of an existing piece of hardware or software by adding additional resources without any decrease in performance. You can increase the capacity up to the limit of that piece of hardware or software. Horizontal scaling is the ability to scale out to handle the load of added users.

Cloud computing services allow businesses and their clients to do their work seamlessly. It provides scalable services of cloud computing to users and clients. While scalability helps handle long-term growth, elasticity ensures flawless service availability at present. It also helps prevent system overloading or runaway cloud costs due to over-provisioning. When a cloud provider matches resource allocation to dynamic workloads, such that you can take up more resources or release what you no longer need, the service is referred to as an elastic environment. The process is referred to as rapid elasticity when it happens fast or in real-time.

Difference Between Elasticity And Scalability In Cloud

Thanks to elasticity, Netflix can spin up multiple clusters dynamically to address different kinds of workloads. Elasticity is the ability to automatically or dynamically increase or decrease the resources as needed. Elastic resources match the current needs and resources are added or removed automatically to meet future demands when it is needed. There are an expected number of desktops based on employee population.

Cloud elasticity combines with cloud scalability to ensure both customers and cloud platforms meet changing computing needs as and when required. Netflix engineers have repeatedly said they take advantage of elastic cloud services by AWS to serve such numerous server requests within a short time and with zero downtime. In cloud computing, that is like scaling compute resources up or down inside a server to suit an increase or reduction in workload at different hours, days, or seasons — without degrading customer experiences. Achieving this no-downtime consistency is possible through elastic scaling. Elasticity, on the other hand, is useful for discussing shorter term resource needs, such as sudden bursts of traffic that could threaten to overwhelm an e-commerce site.