Database Dilemma... Please help.

Jason Jones poeticintensity at
Thu Apr 6 12:07:17 MDT 2006

I recently got hired as the resident Linux-Geek for a new company headed by
a guy who has created 5 of the fortune 500 companies.  My co-worker (we'll
call Fred) recently got hired as well....  Fred has 9 years of MS-SQL DBA

We have a situation where we're using MySQL 5.0 and are only dealing with
very limited, read "around 100Megs" amounts of data which will surely grow
to more than 100 million rows of data shortly.

  Fred is luckily open-minded enough to accept the fact that MySQL ($0.00)
is better than MS-SQL ($15,000.00) at the current time due to our lack of
data.  However....  He's pretty convinced that this is surely not going to
be the case when the data grows.

Fred has concrete evidence of his ability to handle more than 100 million
rows of data per table with MS-SQL with little to no loss of speed.

I'm dead set on keeping my OSS databases, but am having a hard time finding
concrete evidence that either Postgres OR MySQL can handle more than 100
million rows of data per table without suffering speed hits.

Can anyone here point me to something, somewhere that gives numbers on any
OSS datbase handling that amount of data and maintaining good numbers on
speed, with possible hints as to its configuration?

I've personally never handled any OSS db with more than a couple hundred
thousand rows TOTAL, (but have around 3 years exp. handling many various
smaller dbs) and am kind of twitchy about what's going to happen with our db
as it grows exponentially to hundreds of millions of rows.

Hardware is not an issue.  Disk space is not an issue.  The only issue is
whether MySQL (or PostgreSQL) can be properly configured to handle hundreds
of millions of rows per table without hacking it into some slashdot-esque
frankenstein configuration.

Any takers for this one?  I'm kind of scared I'm going to lose the CEO on
this battle and switch to MS-SQL.... I'm dealing with a guy who is extremely
competent in MS-SQL and has demonstrated abilities to handle any amount of
data.  If I can demonstrate the same ability with an OSS solution, I'm sure
I'll win and keep the OSS solution, due to the obvious financial advantages.

Thanks anyone who points me to any helpful information.


PS - I have a pretty good amount of experience with MySQL, but am certain
PostgreSQL is just as good.  If information can be given about *any* OSS db
solution, I'd be most grateful.  Thank you.

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