Scale Horizontally

System components should be horizontally scalable where possible.

Rationale

It is cheaper to scale services by adding inexpensive resources like commodity servers or database nodes rather than buying larger and larger pieces of hardware which at a given point are unable to scale further. By embracing horizontal scalability early and designing our systems to work in this manner we eliminate the cost of changing at a later date.

Implications

  • State cannot be stored in-memory but rather must be persisted to the client or a shared datastore.
  • It is not always possible to scale horizontally eg for traditional RDBMS increased performance is achieved through better hardware or specifications
  • Services should strive to be idempotent

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