Database Dilemma... Please help.

Shane Hathaway shane at
Fri Apr 7 16:21:36 MDT 2006

Sasha Pachev wrote:
>  >But still, hardware is the biggest issue when it comes to any database 
>  >performance. After that comes proper indexing and optimized queries.
> I strongly disagree about the order. Proper queries and indexing are 
> much more important than hardware. A full join of three 1,000,000 record 
> tables will run much slower on the fastest hardware there is than the 
> same query on an old 486 with 32 MB RAM if you have the right keys to 
> eliminate the full join aspect.

Agreed.  Getting back to the original question, though: proper indexing 
and optimized queries are possible in both MySQL and MS-SQL, wouldn't 
you agree?  Either one can handle hundreds of millions of rows, given a 
suitably low load level.

So what Jason really needs to look at, IMHO, is the expected load.  Will 
the database handle hundreds or thousands of queries per second?  Once 
you've gone to 15K drives, balanced the data across multiple RAID 10 
arrays, bought a quad processor server, and maxed out the RAM, there's 
not much more you can do to increase database performance without 
changing the application or using database clustering.  Database 
clustering is currently the big selling point for enterprise databases. 
  MySQL's clustering capabilities are limited to databases that fit in 
RAM.  Will the database fit in RAM?

OTOH, if the database only has to handle 10-50 queries per second, a 
commodity server can handle that.  15K drives and RAID are still a good 
idea, though. ;-)


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