What is Elasticity in Cloud Computing?

Elasticity is one of the basic properties of cloud computing and has been undergoing major developments lately. Cloud computing is the delivery of services on-demand, such as storage, servers, networking, databases, intelligence, software, and analytics. It offers flexible resources, better innovation, and scalability. 


Elasticity is defined as the ability of a system to attach and detach resources like memory, CPU cores, VM, and container instances. There are two types of elasticity: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal elasticity allows you to add or remove instances of computing resources related to an application, whereas vertical elasticity enables you to increase or decrease characteristics of computing resources, such as memory and network bandwidth. 


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Cloud computing has been around for two decades now, but has only recently become popular in both business and academic worlds. Its ability to provide resources according to the customer’s needs is one of the key factors resulting in its success. If you wish to learn more about cloud computing, its history, and its advantages, you can join a cloud computing course

Elasticity in cloud computing can offer a number of benefits to your company, such as better redundancy, increased capacity, easier management, better availability, and minimized costs. 


Over-provisioning and Under-provisioning


Over-provisioning and under-provisioning are the two main principles that characterize an elastic system. Once the resources are provided (called supply S), the system enters an over-provisioning state. In this case, the provided resources are more than consumer-required resources (called supply D). This state leads to unnecessary and extra expenses to rent the cloud services. 


Under-provisioning occurs when supply D is more than supply S. This results in degraded performance and violation of service level agreement (SLA). 


Your consumer can measure the time it takes to provision and de-provision resources.

Elastic systems have the ability to identify the changes in workflows and processes in the cloud. They automatically correct resource provisioning according to the consumer’s needs and updated projects. 


Cloud elasticity vs. cloud scalability


The two terms, cloud elasticity and cloud scalability, are often used interchangeably. Both of them are fundamental features of cloud computing and their functionality is related, but not identical. According to the NIST definition of cloud computing, cloud elasticity is a fundamental characteristic of cloud systems, and scalability is not. It also defines cloud computing as a model for allowing network access to a shared pool of servers, routers, applications, and storage. However, elasticity is not possible with scalability.


Scalability enables a system to increase workloads by making use of additional resources. It is similar to the provisioning state in elasticity but is independent of time. Elasticity in cloud computing can be regarded as the automation of scalability. It quickly optimizes the resources at a given time. It also helps in improving the efficiency of a system. The higher the elasticity of a system is, the higher the efficiency will be. 


Post graduate program in cloud computing will help you learn about the major differences between elasticity, scalability, and other properties of cloud computing. You will also get to work on 15+ hands-on labs and industry-relevant projects. 


Cloud computing has completely revolutionized businesses and it will continue to do the same. Companies have started using hybrid cloud infrastructure to improve elasticity. Its innumerable features offer great advantages to businesses and end consumers. 




Q1: What is the difference between elasticity and scalability?

Ans: The main objective of elasticity is to provide resources at any given point in time, whereas scalability handles the changing needs of an application. 


Q2: How does elasticity help in cloud computing?

Ans: Elasticity allows the cloud to compress or expand the infrastructural resources so that the workloads can work efficiently. It helps in reducing infrastructure costs. 


Q3: What are the characteristics of cloud computing?

Ans: Major characteristics of cloud computing are automation, resources pooling, on-demand self-service, security, measured and reporting service, scalability, rapid elasticity, and easy maintenance. 

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