How do cloud elasticity and cloud scalability differ?

Cloud elasticity and cloud scalability are both characteristics of cloud services, but support different goals, says cloud expert Chip Popoviciu.

What is the difference between cloud elasticity and cloud scalability?

These two characteristics of cloud services address two different timeframes in the lifecycle of a business. Cloud elasticity supports short-term, tactical needs, while cloud scalability supports long-term, strategic needs.

Cloud elasticity enables businesses to dynamically mitigate variability in demand, along with the peaks and valleys in the demand for an IT service, regardless of whether that service is delivered to internal or external customers. Cloud scalability, on the other hand, enables businesses to meet expected demand for services without the need for large, up-front investments in infrastructure. A healthy business will have its ups and downs over short periods of time, but will continuously go up in the long run.

This was last published in February 2013

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