Who Needs Scalability?
Any company that continues to grow ultimately will need to figure out how to scale its systems, organizations, and processes. Although we focus on Web-centric products through much of this book, we do so only because the most unprecedented growth has been experienced by Internet companies such as Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. Nevertheless, many other companies experienced problems resulting from an inability to scale to new demands (a lack of scalability) long before the Internet came of age. Scale issues have governed the growth of companies from airlines and defense contractors to banks and colocation facility (data center) providers. We guarantee that scalability was on the mind of every bank manager during the consolidation that occurred after the collapse of the banking industry.
The models and approaches that we present in our book are industry agnostic. They have been developed, tested, and proven successful in some of the fastest growing companies of our time; they work not only in front-end customer-facing transaction-processing systems, but also in back-end business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management systems. They don’t discriminate by activity, but rather help to guide the thought process on how to separate systems, organizations, and processes to meet the objective of becoming highly scalable and reaching a level of scale that allows the business to operate without concerns about its ability to meet customer or end-user demands.