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All successful large systems were successful small systems

Daniel Sabbah on LAMP:

"I believe that in the same way that some of those simple solutions are good enough to start with, eventually, they are going to have to come up against scalability. [...] What we are trying to do is make sure businesses who start there [with LAMP] have a model, to not only start there but evolve into more complex situations in order to actually be able to grow."

Brad Fitzpatrick and Mark Smith on LiveJournal:

"College hobby project, Apr 1999. April 2004, 2.8 million accounts. April 2005, 6.8 million accounts. Thousands of hits/second."

I think we're in good hands. Sabbah's argument is reminiscent of recent positioning of Web Services with respect to REST/Web systems - take the high-end, manage the disruption from below, offer help to those that want it. Yes there are things to be done around scaling. But it's true to say we know what to do and that scaling issues are not unique to LAMP - when you get down it, it's still tiered client-server into a database, and IBM will have assessed this throughly and are not going to put their substantial weight behind a toy architecture. The real question to ask about scalability is "scalability for what?" Unquantified ilities don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.


About the title: It's a quote from Bill Joy as far as I know; I think Grady Booch may have said it first, but differently. If anyone has an attribution, thank would be great to hear.


May 27, 2005 01:28 AM

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