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One of the many promises of the Internet is the ability to hyper-scale. Contrast that to a store front. While your local coffee shop with 5 or so patrons might get a flood of 20, a website might go from a few dozen to a few 1000s in a split second. So how does a responsible CTO calculate and communicate Internet costs per “unit” to the executive team? It’s hard but really important to calculate. Generally your budget won’t support an infinite number of users – especially at first.
So, you have to decide what level you want to support. Getting a grip on cost/unit is a critical tool to make that decision and a great benchmark to work to improve over time. As you purchase the necessary services (servers, hosting, bandwidth, storage, backup etc.) calculate your total cost/customer so you can help your CEO manage to it.