A Look At Scalability And Elasticity In Cloud Computing

According to Network World, “Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021), the networking giant predicts that by 2021, 94 per cent of all workloads will run in some form of cloud environment.” Another finding from this report claims traffic will triple in the next three years, shooting up to 8 zettabytes per year. Cloud computing is soon to become a mainstay for most industries.

When going from static, premise-based systems to a diverse cloud environment it is important to know exactly what you are getting in to. It’s an investment but a worthwhile one.

A much-discussed topic among cloud aficionados is the difference between a scalable system and an elastic one. Frankly, they are pretty vital terms to know and all cloud-based systems should feature both, but what makes them stand out from each other? Let’s explore the differences.



As a business grows so should its technology to meet the demands, scalable systems are malleable and can adapt to any level of growth. Scalability is a short term solution with long term benefits. If a particular system gains more users, a scalable environment can expand or retract the server requirements to adapt. Scalability tends to respond to a more predictable outcome.

Scaling comes in two forms, vertically or horizontally. Vertical scaling means you can only grow to the size of your server. The ceiling is high but it’s there. Horizontal scaling is wider, hence the name. It adapts to growing traffic by combining resources like hardware and software so that they exist as one, fat autonomous system.


Elasticity makes scaling possible, it is a process that makes room for resources if and when they are needed. So if you’ve scaled up and added servers, an elastic cloud can make room for them, meanwhile if you’ve decided to scale down, an elastic system changes course according to need all automatically.

The overall positive result from having elasticity and scalability is saving wads of cash that can be put towards growing your company instead of maintaining legacy hardware.  So, are you ready to turn to the cloud?

Find out more about CPaaS and the cloud here. 

Via: Network World, Cisco.