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Release It! by Michael T. Nygard

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Scalability

Successful systems get more demand placed on them over time. At some point, the system will need more capacity, which often requires additional hardware. A horizontally scalable system can grow by adding more servers. A vertically scalable system requires upgrades to the existing servers. These are sometimes described as “getting wide” or “getting big.”

Any server that can be placed in a homogeneous pool of resources, behind a load balancer or virtual IP address, allows horizontal scaling, as shown in Figure 20, Horizontal Scaling. You get perfect horizontal scaling when each server can run without knowing anything about any other server. These “shared-nothing” architectures provide nearly linear growth in capacity. Doubling ...

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