Things that don't scale well
May 27, 2021Some things that don't scale well: Databases. Dev teams. Monoliths. Microservices.
Yesterday I introduced the concept of diseconomies of scale. This raises the natural question: “What are some examples of things that suffer from diseconomies of scale?”
I’m sure there are countless, but here are a few I’ve been thinking about lately:
- Databases. Even the most scalable databases have limits, usually well under the order of hundreds of nodes. Many popular databases start to see diminishing returns where n > 1.
- Software development teams. Even the famous 2-pizza team is often considered too large.
- Monolithic code bases. These often turn into big balls of mud
- Microservice architectures. Come to think of it, microservices often aren’t much better.
What would you add to this list?
Should we use microservices?
How should you decide when to use a microservices architecture or a monolithic architecture?
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