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The Difference Between Business Elasticity and Scalability

The Difference Between Business Elasticity and Scalability

25th November 2016

The chances are that soon, almost every business will make its way onto the cloud in one way or another. Whether you use the cloud for collaborating with other workers within your industry or organization, or you choose to use it simply as a source of reliable backup storage in the event of an unforeseen disaster, cloud computing has effectively made it's mark on almost all aspects of business.

When it comes to making the decision to move to cloud computing, decision makers and business owners will need to think carefully about their choices in cloud technology, in accordance with various criteria. Things like performance, security, cost, and reliability all come up as key points of interest for IT departments, but joining those factors in the list of important matters to consider - are elasticity and scalability.

Elasticity vs Scalability

We frequently hear about the concepts of "elasticity" and "scalability" in cloud computing in tandem with each other. Sometimes, those terms can even be used interchangeably. While the two words might be closely related however, it's important to remember that they're not exactly the same thing.

While examining these two matters as separate functions may seem like splitting hairs on the surface, it's important to know the alterations between the two if you want to make a careful and informed decision about your cloud options.

  1. Scalability: Scalability refers to the ability on the part of the hardware or software in your business to continue to function at its optimum performance level as the workflow volume in your company increases. In addition to high performance, your scaled application should be able to offer all the strength and resources you need to handle a higher workload and offer better performances when resources and patches become available.
  2. Elasticity: Elasticity in cloud computing involves creating virtual machines or containers that have the resources to meet real time demand. In other words, while scalability is often discussed at an application level, elasticity allows for growth across an entire network of systems.

Where Both Concepts Converge

Though we can see that there's a subtle, yet obvious difference between scalability and elasticity, it's important to note that there's a common theme that persists between the two: the idea of adaptability. A cloud service that is both elastic and scalable provides an adaptable solution to businesses who want plenty of flexibility to grow and change throughout the years.


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