Cloud Elasticity vs Cloud Scalability

The main characteristics of “cloud” computing include: scalability, elasticity, multi-tenancy, pay-per-use, self-service.

There are several definitions, some of which regard the concepts of scalability and elasticity as identical, others as different. The emergence of such distributed systems inevitably leads to technical problems that need to be solved or limited. On an economic level, achieving elasticity has had an impact on customers and cloud service providers.


Scalability is an essential quality of cloud computing. A scalable application allows you to withstand a large load by increasing the number of simultaneously running instances of “cloud systems”. Typically, off-the-shelf hardware is used to run multiple instances of cloud systems at the same time, which lowers the total cost of ownership and simplifies infrastructure maintenance.

Scaling the system can increase response times. When the architecture is split into servers, response times naturally increase due to network latency and other factors. The architecture of a monolithic system consists of many components in one place. Microservices architecture divides core services into their own ecosystems. Serverless architectures are inherently scalable.


Elasticity is connected with the scalability in cloud computing, since it solves the problem of instantaneous variations in the number of computing resources allocated for the operation of an information system. Elasticity lets you to quickly scale up infrastructure capacity without the requirement for an upfront investment in machinery and system.

Fast elasticity is the ability of the cloud solution under consideration to increase or decrease allocated resources in a fast and automatic way, and in such a way that it will seem to users that they are limitless. This provides excellent scalability for the entire structure.

How do they cross?

Despite the significant similarities, the concepts of scalability and elasticity are still different. The public cloud is rated to be the most appropriate environment for applying elasticity, while the private cloud allows for better scalability. Use this unspoken rule to make your choice. After all, the ways of application and the demands of the business directly affect it.

An adaptable service that addresses both aspects really strikes two targets:

the service level agreement is fulfilled because the payment converts in proportion to the expended productivity and means;

at the same time, the requirements of IT departments drive the growth and contraction of services and resources consumed.

Several public cloud suppliers are marketing scalability and elasticity as the same thing. Therefore, be careful not to get confused in these utility sales.

The scalability and elasticity of the cloud, merged with its compute and storage capabilities, enable organizations to work with larger datasets. This gives them a previously unattainable opportunity for “insight”.

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