O'Reilly logo

Release It!, 2nd Edition by Michael T. Nygard

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Scaling Effects

In biology, the square-cube law explains why we’ll never see elephant-sized spiders. The bug’s weight scales with volume, so it goes as O(n^3). The strength of the leg scales with the area of the cross section, so it goes as O(n^2). If you make the critter ten times as large, that makes the strength-to-weight ratio one-tenth of the small version, and the legs just can’t hold it up.

We run into such scaling effects all the time. Anytime you have a “many-to-one” or “many-to-few” relationship, you can be hit by scaling effects when one side increases. For instance, a database server that holds up just fine when ten machines call it might crash miserably when you add the next fifty machines.

In the development environment, every ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required