help! advocacy resources needed fast

Kyler Laird Kyler at
Thu Mar 6 19:54:53 CET 2003

On Thu, Mar 06, 2003 at 10:00:16AM -0800, Geoff Gerrietts wrote:

> A tenfold increase in traffic with linear scalability would mean 220
> Zope boxes. That does not seem like a reasonable solution to our
> problem.

Oh?!  200 new machines at what - around $500 each?  (It's
been awhile since I spec'd rackmounted Zope servers.  I
imagine they've gotten cheaper than that.)  That's only
$100,000.  Sounds like a bargain for being able to stick
with the tools you've developed and are comfortable using.

We could yank a Googlemaster aside for some insight on
throwing lots of commodity machines at a problem, but you
you could also buy some superserver from IBM and just
segment it into a bunch of virtual machines.

My gut feeling is that you'd probably find that your
perceived performance shoots up to "reasonable" after
adding far fewer than 200 new machines.

> But there's a point at which that stops being true, and stops being
> reasonable. If it takes you twice or three times as long to create the
> equivalent solution in Java, but it takes 22 boxes to run it instead
> of 220, the long-term amortized cost of developing in Java is
> significantly lower: at some point you save yourself some development
> time, but at the expense of hiring more sysadmins and paying for more
> real estate in your co-lo.

Yes, of course there's a personal analysis to be done,
but I always assume that programming/maintenance is a
major expense and hardware costs are somewhere just
above the noise level.  And hardware just keeps getting


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