From Homo Adminus Blog...

A cool entry today on the Homo Adminus blog about using Nginx, Mongrel, memcached, and RoR to scale your web sites overall capacity and peformance.

In summary, this approach strives to scale and speed up your web application by eliminating as much traffic as possible to your application server by pushing the bulk of the work of service you site up to Nginx and Memcached.

As noted in the ariticle the concepts can be applied to just about any web stack with a little thinking.

I look forward to testing out this setup on an EC2 instance in the very near future.