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Scalability Checkpoints

In evaluating application service providers, keep these key points regarding scalability in mind:

Client-side application considerations:

  • Type and extent of operating systems and platforms supported.

  • Performance offered by the software client, typically accessed through a Web browser.

Server-side considerations:

  • Number of users or clients supported. This is the current maximum workload for the application(s) you're considering leasing.

  • Number and type of server operating environments being used.

  • Whether a single server supports a given application or different application services are provided by different servers.

Network considerations:

  • Network media.

  • Network protocol.

  • Number of intermediate nodes typically located between the client and the server.

Application complexity considerations:

  • Size of the applications.

  • Whether the applications are processing-intensive or I/O–bound.

  • Whether the application services are offered by different machines in the network; if so, how many systems must work together to support the application.

  • Number of tables in the database.

  • Size of tables in the database.

  • Data types of items in each record (for example, voice and image).

  • Number of joins or file accesses required when accomplishing a given transaction.

  • Number of databases being used in a given environment.

The type of applications in a given organization's application profile is also significant. This is critical for example in companies that have widely distributed offices throughout the U.S. and the world. Here are additional considerations to keep in mind for the type of applications your organization is running:

  • Data legacy requirements at regional offices to successfully serve customers and maintain relationships.

  • Availability of graphically based data, which takes an inordinate amount of storage space online.

  • Manageability of network security for a widely dispersed network.

  • Connectivity and the ability to provide reliable email systems throughout all offices.

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