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An attractive approach to leveraging the ability of cloud-computing platforms to provide resources on demand is to build elastic applications, which can scale up or down based on resource requirements. To ease the development of elastic applications, it is useful for programmers to write applications with simple, inelastic semantics and rely on runtime systems to provide elasticity. While this approach has been useful in restricted domains, such as MapReduce, the authors argue in this paper that adding elasticity to general distributed applications introduces new fault-tolerance challenges that must be addressed at the programming model and run-time level. They discuss a programming model for writing elastic, distributed applications, and describe an approach to fault-tolerance that integrates with the elastic run-time to provide transparent elasticity and fault-tolerance.
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