Intuitively Showing How To Scale A Web Application Using A Coffee Shop As An Example

This is a guest repost by Sriram Devadas at highscalability.com. Sriram Devadas is an Engineer at Vistaprint, Web platform group. This article is a fun and well written analogy of how to scale web applications using a familiar coffee shop as an example. No coffee was harmed during the making of this post.

I own a small coffee shop.
My expense is proportional to resources
100 square feet of built up area with utilities, 1 barista, 1 cup coffee maker.

My shop’s capacity
Serves 1 customer at a time, takes 3 minutes to brew a cup of coffee, a total of 5 minutes to serve a customer.

Since my barista works without breaks and the German made coffee maker never breaks down,
my shop’s maximum throughput = 12 customers per hour.

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