@evan Why is there a limit to the number of people on a server? Could an instance not just scale up with hardware as it grows?
@DanFox have they? The max I've seen is 100K. Let me know if you find higher numbers.
There's also social and financial scaling. Can the community scale bigger than that? Can the financial burden be covered?
@wonky OK, thanks for the tip, but I think we're going to still work on getting new servers. We're not setting up 4000 servers tomorrow, don't worry.
@evan 😂 we probably don't need to assume that we'll get the whole country. Wouldn't that be cool, though. I'm guessing we're going to find a practical break-over point at about 20 - 50k users where it's cheaper and more stable to start another server.
With my skimming of how federation works, number of users on a server isn't the only factor to scaling, its also how many people they follow that increases the resources used. The more accounts followed, the more their instance uses in storage and networks. There's an equation in the works there I'm sure..
@evan TBH I think the upper bound for a Mastodon server should not be "how many people can the server handle" but "how many people can the admins and mods handle". And if that's only 1000, 100, or 5, that's fine.
I've seen a lot of servers with growing pains, and it's not a technical issue, it's social—taking on users en masse without the resources to vet, moderate, and support them.
@sean @nev @evan regarding Dunbar's number I listened to this interesting podcast episode recently https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/netfrix-network-science-podcast/id1543173651 which criticises it a bit.