Technology Insights

Database Scaling Terminology

Some quick explanations on designing scalable databases (thanks to Jon Sime of the PostgreSQL mailing list and Media Matters for America)

Horizontal vs Vertical scaling

Horizontal scaling is merely a general concept which, in its simplest form, means “adding more nodes” as opposed to vertical scaling which (very roughly) means making an individual node as powerful as possible. The two are not mutually exclusive (you could add more nodes, and make each one as powerful as possible — if you’ve got the money), and the concept is not limited to databases.