Load balancing several cheap hosted accounts

A key concern with providing hosted charts is the ability to scale up — if successful, I’ll have to serve out a potential torrent of chart images (which are appearing on other people’s web sites, but which are hosted on chartpart).

And I’ll get no direct revenue from all this activity — only from those drawn to subscribe to premium services. So delivering high performance (to the client) at low cost (to myself) is a big challenge.

Since this is a very partitionable problem (more on that later), caching is a key part of how I’ll try to achieve this.
But, beyond that, load balancing is another aspect. So I wondered — are hosted services available such that I can start with a cheap account (shared host, or dedicated box if not), and load balance several of them as I grow?

I could not find any shared hosts that offered load balancing. Please comment if you know of any — I would think that’d be a benefit to clients and the hosting company. But I did find several that offered load balancing with dedicated servers.

One promising one appears to be aplus.net — they offer “value” dedicated servers at $49/mo, to which load balancing can be added after the fact. Their current standard pricing for load balancing is $159 setup and $220/mo for up to 5 servers. I like this, because I can start with a single $49/mo server, then grow to a $500/mo 5-server load balanced setup. Anyone have experience with this kind of setup, and have anything good or bad to say about aplus or another host?

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