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iStockphoto is the world's busiest image market, with an image downloaded every 2.5 seconds. For their Web site, scalability has become mission-critical. Being able to manage increasing volumes of data and transactions has to be carefully balanced with IT budgets and resource expenditures. At first, their decision to go with the MySQL database was primarily for its dramatic cost-savings, but as the traffic to iStockphoto.com has grown, scaling out with MySQL on commodity hardware has been a key enabler to handling this rapid growth while maintaining high performance.