Linux.com: Linux Scales

“One of the many buzzwords surrounding Linux, as its adoption
into the small server arena becomes quickly dominant, is the
question of how well it ‘scales’ — that is, the question of how
well it can handle multiple thousands of users as opposed to
multiple scores, or several hundred. People need to know if Linux
can handle systems that have to deal with mail in huge volumes, and
do it reliably, and so on. This idea of scaling, while
important, is not as important as a more fundamental aspect of
computing — the ability of an operating system to scale with the
user, not with the hardware or uses that it has.”

“Linux scales in the classic sense to very many different types
of hardware: from tiny little embedded devices dedicated for one
purpose and one purpose only, to Beowulf clusters on thousands of
nodes, to even the relatively mundane Intel or PowerPC machine on
your desk. It can’t run mainframes all by itself — yet — and it
can’t fill every need in an every imaginable office context — yet
— but it certainly has scaling in that very specific sense going
for it.”

“One of the primary unstated goals behind Linux is to produce an
operating system that scales with equal efficiency from the home
user to the professional — to create an operating system that lets
you, the user, and you, the developer, and you, the administrator,
work on a common platform that makes it possible to learn only as
much as you need to to do your job, or as far as curiosity can take