Recant: Scalable.DEFINITION != Elastic.DEFINITION

In my earlier post, That’s Right Oracle…, I stated that

What we used to call scalable is now called “elastic”

Ok, so it turns out that’s not exactly true.   Scalable and elastic should always go hand in hand when describing the properties of a Cloud architecture, but the term elastic emphasizes a more efficient tempering of the scale.

Gartner gives an excellent summary:

Scalable and Elastic: The service can scale capacity up or down as the consumer demands at the speed of full automation (which may be seconds for some services and hours for others). Elasticity is a trait of shared pools of resources. Scalability is a feature of the underlying infrastructure and software platforms. Elasticity is associated with not only scale but also an economic model that enables scaling in both directions in an automated fashion. This means that services scale on demand to add or remove resources as needed.

However!!!  You buzzword-dropping execs are not off the hook here!  You’re not impressing anyone!  😉  Consider speaking with you’re own words once and a while.  I know that creating a buzz is good for business.  You can make something out of nothing with a powerful enough word.  


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