The scalability myth

At one time or another, nearly every kind of information technology has been judged and found wanting. The failures are often summed up in that most damning of epithets: "It doesn't scale." The reason, of course, is that at one time or another, for one reason or another, every kind of information technology has failed to scale.

Unfortunately for the victims tarred with that brush, scalability is a wildly imprecise term. Applications may be expected to scale up to massive server farms or scale down to handsets. And size is only one axis of scalability. Others include bandwidth, transactional intensity, service availability, transitivity of trust, query performance, and the human comprehensibility of source code or end-user information display. [via Jon's Radio]


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