Traditional websites are typically run from a single server, which often hosts other websites. These systems have been designed to cope with average load and will normally suffer if your site has a sudden burst in popularity. Worst still, if one of your ‘neighbour’ sites hosted on the same server has a large number of visitors, your site will suffer.
One way to solve this is to dedicate an entire server to hosting your site. But how to you design your server? It would be expensive to design your server with enough capability to deal with an occasional peak in load. This is where cloud computing and scalable infrastructures come in. Instead of purchasing a single server with a fixed specification, you can call on additional resources when you need them and hand them back when the load drops.