Scale: The Next Level
Planning for growth, peak demand, and more growth. Spoiler alert: it's not just about getting a bigger server
Did You Know?

Optimization beats straight-to-hiring growth strategy by over 30% cost benefit. While you need quality talent in your team, you need systems that provide optimal workflow process first -- growth by hiring quality and quantity second.

You want to grow. That's when scalability matters.

In most standard website configurations, it's often a very simple web architecture that powers the entire system. One server that takes visitor client (browser) requests and queries, manages its database responses, and sends back pages and data neatly configured and presented to the visitor. That’s it in a nutshell, not much more to it.
But what happens when you grow? Do you or your team have a plan for success and what happens then?

 

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What is Application Scale?

Think of a straw. If you want more liquid to come through, you just suck harder. We all know that only gets you so far – maybe get a bigger straw? Sure that will get you somewhere, but it's not the real deal. What you really want are more straws. Multiple straws allows you to focus on the separate parts of your application that gets things done, allowing for as much liquid as you can handle.

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Focus

While every application has its unique value and offering, there are common principles that usually play a role in scale planning and success. These include: streamline database server(s), asset content delivery network, sharding, dedicated application server(s) and can grow to add specialized firewall(s), security filtering, load balancers, adding a cache. From here you can grow to redundancy strategies  building out each of these even further.

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Planning and Optimization

How your software and system components are planned and optimized is as important as the server stack and hardware. Software, itself, can be optimized and streamlined to be as light as possible when requested for action; that usually requires iteration and upgrades as you continue to grow.

The Business Case for Optimized Standards is Overwhelming

It can be one of the harder concepts to translate to profit, success, expense, and failure -- as such a nebulous thought process it can be difficult to grasp its significance. An easier way to think of optimized code and best practices is to consider asking a librarian to organize their library where half the books have been left on the floor randomly. Contrast that with organizing a library where most of the books are already on shelves, in correct order and category, and loan records kept up to date.
Which of those librarians is going to be happy to work on their tasks? How long and how much additional expense or external help will the first librarian need to get things running smoothly? If you keep that messy library unchanged, how hard is it going to be to keep staff? You're going to need more staff to manage loans like this; it's simply too much, inefficient, frustrating, and costly. You would just never do it.
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Keep it Clean People

When software platforms grow and evolve, more and more developers working on it, it's of primary importance to adhere to documented standards and best practices, failing that, teams will hardly comprehend what’s going on. That translates into cost escalations, difficult planning, and slipped timelines.

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Consistent Standards

Standard best practices are much like keeping rigorous rules on organizing your kitchen. Dictating how forks are stacked or the correct dishwasher space for coffee mugs, but when it’s neglected, things get broken, nerves frayed and ... chaos. Consistent standards means your next stages will be well positioned to start as cleanly and cost-effectively as possible.

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Speed and Fast Experience

Faster code results in shorter page load times -- significant for marketing, search engine optimization, and conversion strategies. Research shows that almost 50% of users expect a faster-than 2 second response, failing which abandonment jumps significantly. Pages must feel fast to end users, always a result of proper planning and execution. 

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Code Documentation: Write it down properly!

For many, the idea that code can be messy, poorly organized, and confusing is not top of mind -- understandably so. Not unlike the wiring in your house, if cabling is poorly done, not to standard, patch panels not labelled properly, it can significantly lengthen the evaluation learning process, when reviewing previously-created code. That translates into wasted budget and deliverables. 

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