7 answers about some basic Architectural Concerns

Do I have a performance or a scalability problem?
Is this a scalability or a reliability issue?
Is this something that I shall be concerned in terms of load, stress or volume ?
Is this a security issues or just a normal behavior ?

Still hear these questions too many times so I want to give some very simple 101/newbie definitions and present them in the form of  user stories.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here comes “the backlog”:
  • As a system, I have a performance issue if I am slow even for a single user
  • As a system, I have a scalability issue if even if I am fast enough for a single user I am slow for multiple users and I am almost die under heavy load
    Scalability tells me how long me as a system I can scale up and scale out in terms of user loads and transactions
  • As a system, I am reliable if I can sustain good response levels over a period of time and under some expected load conditions
  • As a system, I am tested for load by looking at how I am responding to different simulated loads, for instance in series of 10 users, 100 users, 1000 users, … having or not having a ramp up time between requests
  • As a system, I am tested for stress by looking at how stable I am beyond the normal & expected load conditions; someone might even push me to the limits or even kill me
  • As a system, I am tested for volume by looking at how I respond under different volumes of data I need to manage
  • As a system, I am tested for security by looking at how an intruder might compromise my functionality or using me to get into the system that is hosting me or getting access through me to data that are not public

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