Cloud Computing is in use for many years and is gaining momentum in the industrial as well as in the academic sphere. The main reason behind its popularity in usage is its elastic feature. Its ability to supply resources as per the demands of the customer is what makes it a dynamic resource allocation tool that makes adjustments to workload changes easy. Cloud service providers use virtual machines to run multiple operating systems and other applications simultaneously on a server.
Virtual machines are nothing but an abstract platform that has both the software and hardware working environments. With cloud elasticity as its benchmark, such virtualization technologies are evolving continuously to enable cloud computing to perform better on a much larger scale.
Cloud Computing is basically categorized into three types of services models – Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Cloud Elasticity Definition- Elasticity in Cloud Computing refers to the system’s ability to increase or decrease its resources to adapt to the workload changes dynamically. By resources, it means the CPU memory, CPU cores, storage resources, etc. Its ability to quickly make adjustments in the resources without hindering the system’s operation or by making any quantitative changes in its handling capacity determines its level of elasticity.
Cloud Elasticity makes sure that the business never pays for unused capacity nor invests in maintaining any additional equipment to meet real-time resource requirements. It is an automated system that optimizes the allotted resources for running an application at a given time. It drives efficiency in cloud computing as the resources are utilized properly without any chances of under-utilization or over-utilization of resources.
Rapid Elasticity is another factor that we cannot ignore in cloud elasticity. The resource type and its consumption will decide the system efficiency for running an application. Resources may vary according to the type of applications or services rendered. The amount may refer to the cost, power consumption, etc.
The lesser the number of resources required, the higher will be its efficiency rate. System efficiency is a measure of time and a faster reaction time will lead to higher cloud elasticity that will in turn generate more efficiency in the services provided.
Cloud elasticity has many benefits over traditional system infrastructures. For instance, it doesn’t have to rely on system administrators or system analysts to monitor the services to avoid unnecessary disruptions. It saves the business from unnecessary infrastructure cost.
Nowadays, cloud computing services may offer both scalable and elastic services to their customers. Although both terms are used in cloud computing, they are different attributes of a cloud environment.
Cloud Elasticity refers to the system’s ability to decrease or increase its resource allocation in real-time in response to a sudden drop or spike in demand. Cloud Scalability on the other hand refers to the increased workload with respect to its already existing infrastructure to meet its long-term growth demands without any service interruption.
Cloud Scalability is normally used in business environments that have more predictable infrastructural operations. The latter works in a pre-planner manner while the former acts instantaneously due to variable workload changes. Cloud scalability is made possible by using virtualization or virtual machines as they are highly scalable and be scaled up and down while being hosted on multiple servers.
Both features of cloud computing are important and very well related to each other in enhancing system efficiency. However, the reliance on either one of the feature depends on the type of business and the nature of customer demand – predictable workloads or highly variable workloads.
Cloud elasticity adds capabilities or enhances the capacity of cloud computing with the already existing IT infrastructure. It doesn’t require extra investments in new software, training personnel, or adding new equipment. It extends the usability of the already existing IT capabilities by integrating with cloud services and tools.
It helps to deliver computing services dynamically to the customers with ease without having to add extra cost to the business in terms of capacity building. It drives efficient businesses and is one of the few features that have leveraged the demand for cloud computing to greater heights.
This type of computing experience is delivered using several approaches such as the pay-as-you-go model etc. The benefits of using such services are that a customer trying to avail an instantaneous computing resource like computing CPU time, storage, memory, network, etc can avail such resources in an automatic response without having to invest in permanent infrastructures or without having to deal with human interactions in real-time.
This type of service is vastly used in the retail segment due to high fluctuating seasonal activity. During off-season sales or year-end sales, a sudden spike in the system may be generated that requires more computing resources due to the increase in demand from the customers. Instead of increasing the budget on huge infrastructure costs to meet such capacity demand, a sound business solution would be to take up this opportunity by using a cloud elastic service.
This service will handle the few weeks of high capacity demand while for the rest of the year, it will resume back to its normal capacity. It certainly has a greater impact on businesses and can be a real deal if retail companies are looking to cut their cost on IT infrastructure spends.
As more businesses foray into this industry for cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency, demand for hybrid cloud environments along with the elasticity of public cloud services have become the new norm. Cloud elasticity brings in cost-effectiveness and consistent performance with service availability round the clock.
Defining the businesses in terms of resource predictability or workload variations may allow cloud computing services to provide a scalable or elastic solution to their client’s business needs. This will help in identifying which cloud computing services would belong in a public cloud environment and which businesses can be handled by the organization itself.
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