The increasing use of virtual hardware and multi-node clusters makes the performance of individual nodes seem less relevant than it used to be. But databases have unique consistency and workload requirements that still make hardware performance and choice critical. And particularly with the complexity of today’s hardware, running your own bottom-up benchmarks is vital for defending against the very common hardware vendor errors you should expect to happen to you eventually, not be surprised by. Deploy a production server without making sure the hardware itself performs as expected, and troubleshooting the resulting problems is vastly more difficult.
And don’t forget one more thing—the information you need to know to make informed hardware changes changes constantly. There are two parts of this session that come out of the speaker’s latest, unique research into database performance tuning. The stream-scaling project provides a new way to visualize how memory performance scales with the number of active cores involved in the workload, a vital component to quantify on today’s many core designs when running a database server. And recently developed improvements to the sysbench program make it more fair than ever to use as a way to compare MySQL and PostgreSQL on the same hardware.
Topics covered in this session include:
Greg Smith leads the US-based work for international PostgreSQL services firm 2ndQuadrant. He’s the author of PostgreSQL 9.0 High Performance from Packt Publishing. His past work on PostgreSQL includes rewriting the database’s background writer, releasing its first open-source tuning configuration tool, and introducing the earliest tools featuring transaction latency graphing as a technique for analyzing performance over time.
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