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Cloud Scalability vs Cloud Elasticity

May 15, 2023

When it comes to cloud technologies, it can be easy to get caught up in all the terminology. Cloud scalability and cloud elasticity are two of these terms, seemingly similar but having significant differences. Learn more about the differences between cloud scalability and cloud elasticity, the benefits of the two concepts and what makes cloud scaling and elasticity so important.


What is cloud scalability?


Cloud scalability is the ability to increase and decrease the size of your cloud computing capabilities depending on your needs. This is a long-term transition and tends to involve scaling up and down the infrastructure that a company uses in its cloud computing capabilities. Having a high level of cloud scalability is ideal for companies that are in the earlier stages of their development, as their infrastructure can grow at a rate that suits their specific needs organically rather than requiring a lot of intervention from members of staff.


What is cloud elasticity?


Cloud elasticity refers to the property of a cloud to grow or shrink its capacity for CPU, memory and storage requirements in real-time depending on the needs that an organisation or client has. Most cloud elasticity processes are automatic, with the cloud service allocating resources to clients depending on their requirements through automation software. Some cloud services use monitoring tools for these situations, tracking the resources that each user has available and informing them of when the elasticity is in use.


What are the differences between cloud scalability and cloud elasticity?


There are several fundamental differences between cloud scalability and cloud elasticity, including:


Automation Levels

One of the main differences between the two concepts is the level of automation that each has. Elasticity is a completely automated process, in which a cloud provider scales up and down resources in real-time depending on the client’s needs at that moment. On the other hand, scalability involves adding or removing hardware from a service that a client uses to meet the long-term demands of a user, often requiring manual intervention to change the plan that a company is working with.



Scalability tends to focus on the organisation changing its cloud resources for the longer term. This is a result of the company growing to have more employees or requiring more storage space for all of its information, all things that tend to require support for an extended period. Elasticity, on the other hand, is much more flexible, providing CPU or storage at short notice throughout things such as CPU-intensive projects. If a company is engaging in large-scale structural change rather than a short-term project, then scalability is the better of the two concepts.



Elasticity requires that all of the aspects of a cloud service are flexible. Workload changes are comprehensive and challenge all of the aspects of a computer system, rather than individual pieces of equipment. Scalability, on the other hand, indicates a more modular change, such as getting more storage space for your company or increasing the CPU time available. When a cloud service is elastic, it tests the elasticity of every facet of cloud computing at the same time.


Why are these differences important?


These differences are vital for IT managers to know and understand for their companies, the first reason for this being the growth potential that is available. Scalability means that you have a lot of space for growth in your company, with the potential for more users, more server space and more computing power over time. Elasticity also helps with expanding needs but on a short-term basis, rather than being specifically designed for companies going through an expansion.

Knowing the differences can also benefit in understanding the costs that a company faces. Elasticity means that there is an automatic change in the resources that a company uses, thus an automatic adjustment in the fees that the company pays to a cloud computing company. Without being attentive to this fact, costs can increase without management being aware, causing potential budgetary issues in the future.

You can learn more about cost control in relation to cloud services in our informative article Cloud Cost Management Explained.


The Benefits of Understanding the Differences between Scalability and Elasticity


There is a range of benefits to knowing the differences between cloud scalability and elasticity, primarily:

  • Plan Management: IT managers and procurement teams have a far better understanding of the plan that they are working with, so understand the available resources and the amount the organisation is spending.
  • Project Preparation: Understanding the difference means that managers spend on elasticity when embarking on a project rather than sustainability, with staff having the right support throughout and costs coming back down afterwards.
  • Negotiation: Negotiating plans with cloud companies and other stakeholders is much easier when you have a proper understanding of terminology, impressing people in the room and stopping you from being tripped up by jargon.


What makes cloud scaling and stretching so important?


Both cloud scaling and stretching are essential parts of how companies work in the digital age. More and more businesses are making use of cloud services, as they provide a more affordable method of computing than having a physical IT infrastructure with large servers and expensive devices on site. These cloud computing needs change constantly, especially in evolving industries, with businesses that don’t have enough computing potential missing out on opportunities. Revenue loss can be dangerous for growing companies, and you need tools in place to avoid it.

The ability to scale and stretch your cloud capabilities is a must for companies that seek to reach out and grab the business opportunities presented to them. From hiring a brand-new team to going through data that expands past your initial allocation, changing the size of your computing potential makes all the difference to your revenue generation opportunities.

Ensure that you have plenty of potential to scale and stretch your allowance when engaging in any contracts with a cloud provider, as you give your company as much room as possible to grow beyond initial expectations. This is all without having to spend a penny on increasing your physical infrastructure like buying new hard drives or server racks.

If you found this article helpful and would like to learn more about how cloud technology can help your business, you might also find the follow articles useful;


Why choose Eventura for your digital transformation journey?


Eventura have been helping businesses in their digital transformation journey for two decades. From the implementation of industry-leading ERP solutions such as Sage 200 and NetSuite, to helping them move their entire operations to the cloud and away from costly and restrictive on-premise solutions.

As well as being NetSuite Solution Providers, Sage 200 Partners and Microsoft Gold Partners, we also offer a wide range of managed IT services, meaning we can take your business as a whole and help it achieve digital transformation.

If you would like to speak to one of our experts, you can request a free call back here.

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