What Is Cloud Elasticity? +how Does It Affect Cloud Spend?

The Goal of high availability is to survive a data center loss. High Availability or Availability usually goes hand-in-hand with Horizontal Scaling. Horizontal Scaling means running the application in at least 2 availability zones . E.g., in AWS, Scale-Out / Scale In by using the Auto Scaling Groups or Load Balancers.

Let’s say I work for the HBO and I know a lot of HBO customers will be opening a new account just to see Game of Thrones. Now, I know a lot of people will be buying the membership of HBO and creating accounts for the first time – this is where I will increase the size of the instance by using Vertical Scaling. Use Vertical Scalability when you’re using a non-distributed system such as a database. For this purpose, AWS offers RDS, ElastiCache services that can scale vertically.

The pay-as-you-expand pricing model makes the preparation of the infrastructure and its spending budget in the long term without too much strain. Executed properly, capitalizing on elasticity can result in savings in infrastructure costs overall. Environments that do not experience sudden or cyclical changes in demand may not benefit from the cost savings elastic services offer. Use of “Elastic Services” generally implies all resources in the infrastructure be elastic. This includes but not limited to hardware, software, QoS and other policies, connectivity, and other resources that are used in elastic applications.

What Is Cloud Scalability?

Understanding these differences is very important to ensuring the needs of the business are properly met. It is a mixture of both Horizontal and Vertical scalability where the resources are added both vertically and horizontally. In this type of scalability, we increase the power of existing resources in the working environment in an upward direction.

scalability and elasticity meaning

Scalability is used to fulfill the static needs while elasticity is used to fulfill the dynamic need of the organization. Scalability is a similar kind of service provided by the cloud where the customers have to pay-per-use. So, in conclusion, we can say that Scalability is useful where the workload remains high and increases statically.

Use Case Three: Streaming Services

While you grow, and bring on more and more customers, it’s natural that your cloud spend will increase. What’s important to know is how your unit economics are affected by this growth so you can ensure profitability for your company. 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? Cloud providers also price it on a pay-per-use model, allowing you to pay for what you use and no more.

  • An elastic cloud service will let you take more of those resources when you need them and allow you to release them when you no longer need the extra capacity.
  • The goal is always to ensure these two metrics match up to ensure the system performs at its peak and cost-effectively.
  • Executed properly, capitalizing on elasticity can result in savings in infrastructure costs overall.
  • You can use a proven cloud cost intelligence platform for that.
  • The database expands, and the operating inventory becomes much more intricate.
  • Depending on the system monitoring tooling, the capacity is immediately reduced.

Where IT managers are willing to pay only for the duration to which they consumed the resources. Using predefined, tested, and approved images, every new virtual server will be the same as others , which gives you repetitive results. It also reduced the manual labor on the systems significantly, and it is a well-known fact that manual actions on systems cause around 70 to 80 percent of all errors. There are also huge benefits to using a virtual server; this saves costs after the virtual server is de-provisioned. The freed resources can be directly used for other purposes. If you have relatively stable demand for your products or services online, cloud scalability alone may be sufficient.

Keep in mind that Elasticity requires scalability, but not vice versa. Cloud scalability alone may be sufficient if you have a relatively stable demand for your products or services online. The pay-as-you-expansion model will let you add new infrastructure components to prepare them for growth.

But elasticity also helps smooth out service delivery when combined with cloud scalability. For example, by spinning up additional VMs in a single server, you create more capacity in that server to handle dynamic workload surges. This then refers to adding/removing resources to/from an existing infrastructure to boost/reduce its performance under a changing workload. Scaling out or in refers to expanding/shrinking an existing infrastructure’s resources by adding new/removing existing components.

But not all cloud platform services support the Scaling in and out of cloud elasticity. You can provide more resources to absorb the high festive season demand with an elastic platform. After https://globalcloudteam.com/ that, you can return the excess capacity to your cloud provider and keep what is doable in everyday operations. It works to monitor the load on the CPU, memory, bandwidth of the server, etc.

What Is Elasticity In Cloud Computing?

Resource-wise, it is an activity spike that requires swift resource allocation. Thanks to elasticity, Netflix can spin up multiple clusters dynamically to address different kinds of workloads. There are an expected number of desktops based on employee population. To ensure the ability to support the maximum number of users and meet SLAs, the amount of services purchased must be enough to handle all users logged in at once as a maximum use case.

Some cloud services are considered adaptable solutions where both scalability and elasticity are offered. They allow IT departments to expand or contract their resources and services based on their needs while also offer pay-as-you-grow to scale for performance and resource needs to meet SLAs. Incorporation of both of these capabilities is an important consideration for IT managers whose infrastructures are constantly changing. Do not fall into the sales confusion of services where cloud elasticity and scalability are presented as the same service by public cloud providers. 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.

You can use a proven cloud cost intelligence platform for that. For example, with CloudZero, you can see what you are spending, on what, and why. Say you run a limited-time offer on notebooks to mark your anniversary, Black Friday, or a tech festival. The more effectively you run your awareness campaign, the more the potential buyers’ interest you can expect to peak.

Use Horizontal Scalability when you’re using distributed systems such as web applications. Horizontal Scaling means you’re increasing the number of instances. Existing customers will also revisit abandoned trains from old wishlists or try to redeem accumulated points. When the project is complete at the end of three months, we’ll have servers left when we don’t need them anymore. It’s not economical, which could mean we have to forgo the opportunity. And you don’t just buy a server for a few months – typically, it’s three to five years.

scalability and elasticity meaning

You could increase or reduce computing resources as you need with zero downtime in each of those servers. Chatbots are another example of cloud scalability difference between scalability and elasticity in action. Advanced chatbots with Natural language processing that leverage model training and optimization, which demand increasing capacity.

Scalability And Elasticity In Cloud Computing

Over-provisioning leads to wastage of cloud costs, while under-provisioning can lead to server outages as the available servers overwork. Server shutdowns result in revenue loss and customer dissatisfaction, which is bad for business. Elasticity uses dynamic variations to align computing resources to workload demands as closely as possible to prevent overprovision wastage and boost cost-efficiency. Another goal is usually to ensure your systems can continue to serve customers satisfactorily, even when bombarded by massive, sudden workloads. Cloud elasticity combines with cloud scalability to ensure both customers and cloud platforms meet changing computing needs as and when required. Each virtual machine would have scaling capabilities just as the newly leased restaurant’s staff could add or remove chairs and tables within the leased space.

Scalability enables stable growth of the system, while elasticity tackles immediate resource demands. Scalability is one of the prominent features of cloud computing. In the past, a system’s scalability relied on the company’s hardware, and thus, was severely limited in resources. With the adoption of cloud computing, scalability has become much more available and more effective. System scalability is the system’s infrastructure to scale for handling growing workload requirements while retaining a consistent performance adequately.

What Is Cloud Elasticity And How Does It Affect Cloud Spend?

Thus, you will have multiple scalable virtual machines to manage demand in real-time. If we need to use cloud-based software for a short period, we can pay for it instead of buying a one-time perpetual license. Most software as service companies offers a range of pricing options that support different features and duration lengths to choose the most cost-effective one. We can compare this to before cloud computing became available. Let’s say a customer comes to us with the same opportunity, and we have to move to fulfill the opportunity. Depending on the type of cloud service, discounts are sometimes offered for long-term contracts with cloud providers.


Common use cases where cloud elasticity works well include e-commerce and retail, SaaS, mobile, DevOps, and other environments that have ever changing demands on infrastructure services. The purpose of Elasticity is to match the resources allocated with actual amount of resources needed at any given point in time. Scalability handles the changing needs of an application within the confines of the infrastructure via statically adding or removing resources to meet applications demands if needed. In addition, scalability can be more granular and targeted in nature than elasticity when it comes to sizing.

CloudZero is the only solution that enables you to allocate 100% of your spend in hours — so you can align everyone around cost dimensions that matter to your business. To see how CloudZero can help you monitor your costs as you grow and help you build cost-optimized software. Under-provisioning refers to allocating fewer resources than you use. Still, there is only so much space to add chairs and tables in a confined room, just as there is a limit to the amount of hardware you can add to a server. It refers to the system environment’s ability to use as many resources as required.

The pay-as-you-expand model would also let you add new infrastructure components to prepare for growth. 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.

But the staff adds a table or two at lunchtime and dinner when more people stream in with an appetite. They then remove the tables and chairs to declutter the space. The restaurant scales up and down its seating capacity within the confines of the space it occupies. You can take advantage of cloud elasticity in four forms; scaling out or in and scaling up or down. Discover the best cloud cost optimization content in the industry. Many have used these terms interchangeably but there are distinct differences between scalability and elasticity.

For example, if you run a business that doesn’t experience seasonal or occasional spikes in server requests, you may not mind using scalability without elasticity. Keep in mind elasticity requires scalability, but not the reverse. But if you “leased” a few more virtual machines, you could handle the traffic for the entire policy renewal duration. Thus, you would have several scalable virtual machines to manage demand in real-time. That is how cloud elasticity is different from cloud scalability, in a nutshell. An elastic cloud service will let you take more of those resources when you need them and allow you to release them when you no longer need the extra capacity.

In short, the amount of resources allocated are there to handle the heaviest predicted load without a degradation in performance. Cloud elasticity combines with cloud scalability to ensure that both the customer and the cloud platform meet changing computing needs when the need arises. At work, three excellent examples of cloud elasticity include e-commerce, insurance, and streaming services. We’re probably going to get more seasonal demand around Christmas time.

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An Elastic Cloud provider provides system monitoring tools that track resource usage. Then they automatically analyze resource allocation versus usage. The goal is always to ensure that these two metrics match to ensure that the system performs cost-effectively at its peak. But if you have “leased” a few more virtual machines, you can handle the traffic for the entire policy renewal period.

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