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scalable
Last modified: Thursday, January 23, 2003 

(1) A popular buzzword that refers to how well a hardware or software system can adapt to increased demands. For example, a scalable network system would be one that can start with just a few nodes but can easily expand to thousands of nodes. Scalability can be a very important feature because it means that you can invest in a system with confidence you won't outgrow it.

(2) Refers to anything whose size can be changed. For example, a font is said to be scalable if it can be represented in different sizes.

(3) When used to describe a computer system, the ability to run more than one processor.

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