There is the following sentence:

Vast scalability to manage data migrations between 1,000’s of servers.

Is the "1,000’s" above an approximate number or an exact number?

Any help is much appreciated.

  • 1
    It should be written "thousands", and it generally means more than one thousand but less that 10-20 thousand. Fairly vague, though.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 18, 2016 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


The sentence you provided is not a complete sentence but a sentence fragment. "to manage," in your sentence, is not a verb but an infinitive.

That said, 1000s should be written "thousands." It is used as an approximation. For example: There were thousands of people at the president's rally. In my opinion, "thousands" can be used for numbers less than 10,000. You can also use the adjective "several" if the approximation is 3,000 or 4,000. In my opinion, several means a handful or less than 5. For approximations over 10,000, such as 20,000 or 80,000, I feel you can also use "thousands" or "tens of thousands." (suggested by Lawrence.)

When the number reaches 100,000 and more, you would need to change the sentence and use "several hundred thousand." There were several hundred thousand people attending the rock concert.

The word multitude can be used for large numbers of people. A multitude of people came to see King Tut's mask when it was displayed in San Francisco.

  • "less than 10,000 and more" doesn't scan very well.
    – AndyT
    Jan 18, 2016 at 10:59
  • @AndyT agreed...how does the edit sound? Jan 18, 2016 at 11:01
  • Much better, +1
    – AndyT
    Jan 18, 2016 at 11:14
  • Between 10,000 and 100,000, you could say tens of thousands.
    – Lawrence
    Jan 18, 2016 at 12:25

This usage is common in marketing materials, and shouldn't be taken literally. (That's a polite way of saying it bends the rules of English and truth.) It is unlikely any test actually confirms usage at any substantive level. Rather, it means that the advertiser sees no reason to believe that this tool is inappropriate if you have thousands of servers. At a few hundred I would have many more questions to ask about the real capabilities. The sentence should be broadly interpreted to mean more than dozens but certainly not millions. Any other claim to actual capacity would require a lot more data, use cases, etc.

If the capacity really were between 1,000 and 9,999, there would be test cases, benchmarks and much more specific numbers. What if each database has a few hundred entries versus Petabytes? The vagueness in the number indicates that the marketer is giving a rough idea, not a literal claim. Let he buyer beware.

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