Scaling Using Cache Farms and Read Pooling

Michael Nygard talks about Two Ways To Boost Your Flagging Web Site. The idea behind cache farms is to move memory devoted to the various caching layers into  one large farm of caches, as with memcached. The idea behind read pools is to allocate your database read requests to a pool of dedicated read servers, thus offloading the write server. Using a combination of the strategies you aren't forced to scale up the database tier to scale your website.