[thelist] What is "scalability"?

Dan Romanchik dan at danromanchik.com
Wed Oct 23 07:18:01 CDT 2002

My definition of "scalable" is the ability of a system--including both
hardware and software--to handle larger loads when required. Solutions based
on Microsoft Access, for example, are not scalable. Above a certain amount
of traffic, Access just gives up, and you have to migrate the application
(including rewriting some of the code) to a database that can handle the
traffic. If you don't expect a website to ever have much traffic, using
Access is fine, but if you expect usage to grow, then you'll want to use a
develop a more scalable solution.

Using PHP/MySQL to develop a web-based application can help it be more
scalable. It works fine for applications with low usage as well as for
applications that get used a lot. If your web traffic grows, you may have to
move your application to a host with higher bandwidth or even a dedicated
server, but you shouldn't have to rewrite the code.


Dan Romanchik, Web Publishing Group
phone: 734-930-6564
e-mail: danr at webpublishinggroup.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank" <framar at interlog.com>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2002 9:45 PM
Subject: [thelist] What is "scalability"?

> My business partner asked me an interesting question:
> "What does 'scalable' mean?
> I referred to an indicator of scalability as being the ability to handle
> traffic loads based on the hardware, not the software. In other words, the
> app can handle 100 or 100 million hits a day. The database might be served
> from several machines, the web pages from several more, with one or more
> parcelling out the commands; the ability to cluster. Scalability is the
> ability spread your app across an a growing number of machines.
> Now comes a couple other subjective questions:
> What makes a an solution "Enterprise Level"?
> What are some metrics that one could use to prove such a level?
> --
> Frank Marion <frank at frankmarion.com>      Tel: 416 825 7488
> --
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