Distribute the load all around the world

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http://serverfault.com – Let's say we're starting a project which is meant to be served all around the world How am I supposed to distribute the database and server load, and increase (optimize) the service for large audience? I know about reverse proxy, load balance, using DNS for subdomains to target multiple IPs which can serve the same content. I'm currently interested, if there is any easy way how to distribute my whole database and service (which is single VM for now) to distribute the load. Some of ideas/questions I got If I do need to start VPS in each region and then merge data in background If I can d (HowTos)