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What Is Elasticity, and How Does It Affect Cloud Computing?

Solutions Review covers the basics of cloud elasticity: what it is, how it affects cloud solutions, and how it provides advantages to your company.

Businesses adopting a cloud computing solution can look forward to several benefits and features that a cloud environment brings. These advantages range from minor ones (ease of access, centralized infrastructure) to major ones (cost efficiency, no need for physical repairs). All these benefits are obviously useful for enterprises, but most of them can also be found in other technologies. One advantage exclusive to cloud computing, however, is cloud elasticity.

Elasticity refers to the dynamic allocation of cloud resources to projects, workflows, and processes. In the cloud, it’s the system by which cloud vendors provide the exact amount of resources an enterprise needs to run something. Not only does it promote cost efficiency, it also allows users to optimize their resource usage. Below, we explain the basics of cloud elasticity and the benefits it provides to your enterprise.

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What is cloud elasticity?

Cloud elasticity is the process by which a cloud provider will provision resources to an enterprise’s processes based on the needs of that process. Cloud provides have systems in place to automatically deliver or remove resources in order to provide just the right amount of assets for each project. For the cloud user, they will be given enough power to run their workflows without wasting money on any supplied resources they don’t need.

To explain elasticity in the cloud, let’s look at the example of storing and running an application in the cloud. An application needs a specific environment to run, including computing power, virtual machines (VMs), and storage space. Because the cloud is elastic, you will only be given the assets needed to run that application. If you require more VMs to run different applications, you’ll be given those instances when you implement the new applications, but not beforehand.

Overprovisioning and underprovisioning

The main reason for cloud elasticity is to avoid either overprovisioning and underprovisioning of resources. Giving a cloud user either too much or too little data and resources will put that user at a disadvantage. If an enterprise has too many resources, they’ll be paying for assets they aren’t using. If they have too few resources, they can’t run their processes correctly. Elastic systems can detect changes in workflows and processes in the cloud, automatically correcting resource provisioning to adjust for updated user projects.

Cloud elasticity vs. cloud scalability

Cloud elasticity is sometimes confused with cloud scalability, often because they’re used interchangeably or talked about in the same sentence. Scalability refers to the growing or shrinking of workflows or architectures in pre-built infrastructures without impacting performance. Both elasticity and scalability are important for cloud users. They need to be able to grow their workflows to match their enterprise’s needs while also knowing they have the correct amount of resources to do so.

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