We all make hundreds of decisions every day — personally and professionally. No wonder the big decision about doing business with a cloud service provider can feel so overwhelming. There are many factors to weigh and understand. One important one is the distinction between cloud elasticity v cloud scalability. This article offers help.
Cloud Migration Trend
When you are considering migrating to the cloud, you’re talking about accessing a pool of computing resources (servers, storage, applications, and voice services) provided as-needed to businesses from a provider’s network, eliminating the need for on-site equipment, maintenance, and management.
Businesses are turning to the cloud in increasing numbers to take advantage of increased speed, agility, stability, and security. Additionally, the business saves on IT infrastructure and sees other capital and space savings from turning to an external service provider.
A Forbes roundup of cloud forecasts suggested research demonstrates, “a maturing global market for cloud services, with proven scale, speed and security to support new business models.” Gartner’s research, for example, suggests:
- The Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market will grow by 17.3 3% in 2019 to total $206.2B, up from $175.8B in 2018.
- The fastest-growing segment of the market is cloud system infrastructure services, which is forecast to grow 27.6 percent in 2019 to reach $39.5 billion, up from $31 billion in 2018.
- Software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest segment of the cloud market, with revenue expected to grow 17.8 percent to reach $85.1 billion in 2019.
Cloud Services Considerations
CIO strategists and IT managers must consider many factors in deciding whether or not to add cloud services to their infrastructure. The key areas include:
Another consideration for gaining more attention is cloud scalability and cloud elasticity. Understanding the differences between these two can help the business determine which cloud option best suits its needs.
Cloud Elasticity vs Scalability
To help you think about the differences between these two, let’s try two images. First, visualize an elastic band stretching out or back into its original size. Now, imagine someone scaling up the side of a cliff — going up or down the cliff as their path dictates, without the cliff ever changing shape.
Cloud elasticity v scalability is comparable. Elasticity, after all, refers to the ability to grow or shrink infrastructure resources dynamically. As workload changes, cloud elasticity sees the resources allocated at any given point in time changing to meet that demand. Cloud elasticity works well in e-commerce and retail, SaaS, mobile, Dev Ops, and other environments with ever-changing demands on infrastructure services.With scalability, on the other hand, the cloud infrastructure remains the same while resources are added or removed to meet demand. This upsizing or downsizing can be more targeted and is often seen in environments where there are a predictable workload and stable capacity planning and performance.
As cloud elasticity allows resources to be built out dynamically, this is a common feature of pay-per-use or pay-as-you-go services. It can be a more affordable option for startups as the business is not paying for more IT infrastructure than it needs to begin. Or, in another scenario, elasticity can prove valuable to an organization that has spikes in demand such as an e-retailer handling seasonal sales or Black Friday shoppers.
With scalability, the business has an infrastructure with a certain amount of room to expand built-in from the outset. This lets the organization increase or decreases its workload size using the existing cloud infrastructure (hardware, software), without negatively impacting performance.