Re: What does "scalable" mean?

Subject: Re: What does "scalable" mean?
From: Marie Moore <marie -dot- moore -at- TEMPLATE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 10:18:55 -0400

Brian Lightfoot wrote:

> Hi!
> What does it mean when someone says that a server is scalable or not
> scalable?
> What does it mean when someone says that a database is scalable or not
> scalable?
> Are these the same things? In other words, is "scalable" a legitimate
> technical word or is it just a generic word people can apply to
> anything, (i.e., "my car is scalable" or "my refrigerator is scalable.")

Well, "scalable" isn't my favorite candiate for legitimacy, but it _is_ a
technical word that is widely used.

In my company's lexicon, it means, roughly, "can be made to suit any size";
for example, if we say that using our development tool results in a scalable
application, it means that you can develop an application on one PC, but
_scale_ that application to a distributed environment. That is, you can
develop your application on one PC, and then deploy it in a multi-processor,
networked system (ostensibly without major changes--that's what makes it

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