Cloud elasticity in cloud computing refers to a provider’s ability to increase or decrease its memory and storage capacity on demand and as needed. Organizations need to consider cloud elasticity when choosing a cloud provider, as it could impact their resources and, ultimately, the quality and availability of their services.

A marketing agency that has reached its cloud storage limit will have to store digital content, designs, and other materials offline if its cloud provider doesn’t have cloud elasticity. Imagine if this happens to a healthcare organization. Medical records, emergency response requests, and other data won’t automatically reach the concerned professionals because they have reached their resource limit.


Read More about Cloud Elasticity in Cloud Computing

IT managers and cloud engineers often look at security, reliability, and cost when adding cloud services to their IT infrastructures. Recently, cloud elasticity was added to these criteria.

How Does Cloud Elasticity in Cloud Computing Work?

Cloud elasticity in cloud computing allows organizations to add certain capacity levels as the need arises (e.g., during peak months) and shrink the capacity when demand dwindles (e.g., during the lean season).

For example, e-commerce companies may need to increase their backend storage capacity between November and January to make room for shopping demand. In February, they can remove the added capacity when the demand settles down.

Capacity expansion and removal can be done automatically. The organization can specify triggers to automate the addition of a predetermined level of storage or memory. For instance, they can tell the cloud provider’s system to automatically add 100GB of storage when their current capacity has reached 90% of the limit.

This process can also be done manually. The cloud service provider can have a mechanism to alert the organization when their capacity limit is almost depleted and give them an option to add more automatically. The manual process can take only minutes. 

Why Is Cloud Elasticity in Cloud Computing Important?

Cloud elasticity has become a vital component of cloud computing. It can help improve an organization’s bottom line by avoiding business loss. We explain more about its importance below.

A cloud provider with no elasticity offers service packages that organizations would have to pay, regardless of whether they use the whole package or not. Organizations end up provisioning resources and paying for unused virtual machines (VMs), space, and other features.

With cloud elasticity, organizations would only have to pay for what they use, avoiding overprovisioning. They save capital and resources that they can use for other aspects of their business.

Since the organization knows which parts and capacity of the cloud service they are using, it can allocate the right amount of resources. As such, cloud elasticity in cloud computing helps avoid underprovisioning, which could result in offline services, user dissatisfaction, and sales loss.

What’s the Difference between Cloud Elasticity and Cloud Scalability?

Cloud elasticity in cloud computing is often confused with cloud scalability, although the two are different properties. Cloud elasticity aims to meet immediate demands, resulting in dynamic changes in workloads while maximizing resources (e.g., seasonal demand in the retail industry).

On the other hand, cloud scalability refers to the ability to increase or decrease capacity based on a planned or foreseen change in workload. An example is a startup business that initially needs a small-capacity cloud service. As the business grows, its cloud infrastructure must be able to cope and scale up.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Elasticity?

Cloud elasticity provides several advantages, including the following:

  • Speed: Organizations employing elastic cloud services can secure additional capacity within minutes without going through weeks-long procurement processes.
  • Cost savings: Most providers with cloud elasticity offer pay-as-needed pricing, where users would only pay for the resources they use. 
  • High availability: Cloud elasticity helps avoid service disruptions due to a lack of cloud capacity or resources.
  • Efficiency: Automating cloud elasticity allows the IT department to focus on other aspects of the business.

What Are the Challenges of Cloud Elasticity?

Below are some of the significant challenges that enterprises may face with cloud elasticity.

  • Lock-in periods: Most providers offering cloud elasticity solutions require clients to use the vendor’s cloud services exclusively within a specific period. The lock-in period can be restrictive, especially when the provider’s services do not meet an organization’s needs.
  • Security: Security workflows may need to be updated every time cloud service capacity expands or decreases. Failure to do so can affect security incident responses, making the enterprise more vulnerable to attacks.

Key Takeaways

  • Cloud elasticity in cloud computing is a characteristic of cloud service that can expand or decrease its capacity based on an organization’s need.
  • Cloud elasticity is different from cloud scalability.
  • Cloud elasticity depends on dynamic changes in demand, while cloud scalability refers to the growth or decline in cloud service capacity based on a planned change in workload.
  • Most providers with cloud elasticity offer pay-as-needed pricing schemes, where clients would only pay for the resources they use.
  • Cloud elasticity in cloud computing helps businesses save on costs while ensuring high availability.
  • Cloud elasticity may affect an organization’s security workflows, particularly incident responses.