We never serve more than one such image per page (the vast majority of the time, we serve zero). These images are usually smaller than the HTML they accompany (my image is 5kB vs. 35kB of HTML). They are not allowed to be large (strict 80kB limit). We aren't even planning on implementing a caching scheme other than the "node caching" that the Everything engine aleady does.
And! If the DB server chokes under the new load, we are fully authorized to blame jc.
(but my friends call me "Tye")
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