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Designing Systems for Internet Commerce, Second Edition by Lawrence C. Stewart, G. Winfield Treese

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Chapter 19. Reliable and Scalable Systems

 

Computer systems can be fast, cheap, or reliable. Choose any two.

 
 --Anonymous

Overview

In the early days of the World Wide Web, most users were not terribly concerned with performance or reliability. Sometimes Web sites were slow, and sometimes they did not respond, but this was to be expected. Besides, many users had slow connections to the network, so they hardly noticed if the server was slow. A popular server might have been overloaded for a while, but then it would recover.

Clearly, the expectations have changed, especially for business Web sites. Sites must be available 24 hours a day, because customers, whether they're on the other side of the world or simply up late, may be there at any time. The ...

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