Before we dive into answering this question, we have to acknowledge that technology is meant to empower our workforce to achieve more with ease!
It shouldn't be a daily struggle because of underpowered resources.
That said, I am sure by now you have had some exposure to SharePoint Governance Planning, and that this governance plan is most likely incomplete or non-existent!
While this scenario does not preclude us from installing and operating a SharePoint farm and web applications, it could become a problem when our users start to exceed the forecasted farm hardware capacity. That presents the IT Team with challenges maintaining the info structure.
Keep in mind that technology is only as good as it's performing speedy functionality and so as best as can be; try to remain proactive on devising suitable governance plans in their simplest forms.
The first set of questions I ask when I am approached about creating a new SharePoint web application is:
Asking these two simple questions opens up a lot to learn from and many more to properly plan for. Having worked with and supported SharePoint for the last 10 years taught me the fact a SharePoint server in itself is the not the most important part of SharePoint but rather the actual user data that drives business and productivity.
Putting business productivity at the center of what we do, we cannot neglect devising a sound governance plan that sets expectations and drives a best performance high availably solution. How does a governance plan help your design? At its basic premise it helps determine how much hardware investment is needed to architect a given SharePoint farm and more so it establishes a foundation for which how we will operate said server farm hence allowing us to build enough safety nets in our architecture design.
Don't know where to start?
Here is a wealth of resources and information on the subject:
Governance in SharePoint Server 2010http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ff800826
Stay SharePoint Awesome!!