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Scalability: “Increasing” the capacity to meet the “increasing” workload.

Elasticity: “Increasing or reducing” the capacity to meet the “increasing or reducing” workload.

Scalability is the ability on the part of software or hardware to continue to function at a high level of performance as workflow volume increases. In addition to functioning well, the scaled up application should be able to take full advantage of the resources that its new environment offers. For example, if an application is scaled from a smaller operating system to a larger one should be able to handle a larger workload and offer better performance as the resources become available.

Scalability usually refers to adding resources and performance.

Elasticity generally means the opposite – scaling down capacity or resources as they are no longer needed.

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