Cloud computing has some strange terms. One of those terms is “elasticity.” So what does it mean?

In simple language, elasticity means the ability to scale up or down based on real-time hosting needs. In other words, if you upload a video to your web server and it gets very little traffic for two weeks then suddenly, because of a viral effect on a social media marketing campaign, you start receiving an onslaught of traffic then you can scale up the capacity of your server to meet the need for thousands or millions of people watching that video all at the same time. When the viral effect has lessened then you scale back down to normal hosting capacity.

Typical web hosting does not have that ability. Cloud hosting offers this type of elastic capacity on a basis known as Platform-As-A-Service. You can use the services you need when you need them because your hosting provider is selling you the services a la carte with a hosting platform foundation on their servers.

Elasticity has its benefits beyond viral marketing. You can use it on intranets and wikis just as well as on Internet marketing. But the benefit is that you get the hosting you need when you need it and as you need it.