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Replication and Scaling

An electronic commerce system has many dimensions of scaling, which admit different strategies for management.

  • Growth in catalog content

    Catalog or electronic fulfillment content may grow in richness and volume independent of transaction volume. For example, a business delivering digital movies online might have a small transaction followed by delivery of gigabytes of data. This problem is best addressed by replication and duplication of content servers, which can share a common transaction engine.

  • Growth in transaction complexity and volume

    Even with a small online catalog, business may boom, leading to a high volume of transactions. If transactions are largely independent of one another, it may be possible to use replicated transaction engines. With complex transactions, however, there may be no substitute for scaling the transaction engine from a single CPU to a multiprocessor to a cluster of systems working from a common database.

  • Growth in customer base

    As the customer base grows in size, and covers ever larger geographies, it may be appropriate to replicate servers in geographic areas close to the customers.


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