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Re: [vox] PostgreSQL vs. Oracle
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Re: [vox] PostgreSQL vs. Oracle

On Fri, Feb 01, 2002 at 02:50:53PM -0800, Brian Lavender wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 01, 2002 at 11:38:55AM -0800, Don Werve wrote:
> > On Fri, Feb 01, 2002 at 11:23:15AM -0800, Rod Roark wrote:
> > > Thanks Eric, this is good stuff.
> > > 
> > > The Oracle rep's pitch is the kind of techno-nonsense that works on 
> > > gullible managers.  Some of what he said was true of Postgres a year or 
> > > more ago -- not today.
> [snip]
> > 
> > Then again, anyone considering a large database on Intel hardware is insane;
> > there's a reason why big databases run on big iron.  Let's see an Intel 
> > machine hold 128 processors, talk to ten seperate fibre channel arrays, and
> > dynamically re-assign CPUs, memory, and I/O from a serial port.  Oh, and
> > we can't forget the ability to hot-swap almost every component on the 
> > machine with zero downtime.  That's why people like Sun, IBM, and HP are 
> > still in business.
> I do believe that this is available on Intel hardware. I believe
> that you can buy a box with 4 Gigs of RAM with all hot swappable
> components including PCI cards from Dell. I don't know about CPU's
> though. In addition, I do believe that the Linux file system is fast
> and efficient. A year ago, at sacLUG we had a rep come from Sleepycat
> Software, which provides commercial support for Berkeley DB, and he said
> that the efficiency of writing directly to raw disk no longer outweighs
> the native filesystem.

First; an apology -- I overstated the number of CPUs in a Sun Fire 15K;
the correct number is 106 (the maximum number of CPUs that can be thrown
in a 15K).

Second; a note -- Of the Big Bad Unix Vendors, I am most familiar with
Sun hardware, as I admin Solaris, BSD, and Linux.  This is why I'm 
not including much information about HP, IBM, SGI, or Compaq boxes; 
because I know about as much about them as I do about martian 

That being said...

Um; 4G of RAM isn't even *close* to big iron.  Our bottom-of-midrange 
DB server is a Sun Fire 4800 with 4G and 4CPUs; this is the smallest 
configuration its available in; nominally, a Fire 4800 comes with a 
*base* of 8G and supports a maximum of 96G of RAM and up to 12 US3 
processors, all hot-swappable.  Each processor has its own 8MB cache.
And this is a *mid-range* server; e.g., Little Iron.

Granted, they do cost in the $125K category, but are scalable over 
time -- e.g., our company will still be using this in five years, and
we'll still be getting same-day replacement parts from Sun.  Software
written for Solaris in five years will still run on it; hell, I can
run software written ten years ago for Solaris 2.6 on it.

Plus there's LOM (requires Solaris 8), OBP, RSC, Hardware Domains...

Big Iron is something like a Sun Fire 15K -- Sun's top-of-the line.  
That's right, this baby was made in America; can support up to 106 
US3 CPUs, 576GB of RAM, has dynamic system domains, and a hair trigger
(otherwise known as Solaris 8).  Companies like McKesson HBOC, Mobil, 
and Celera Genomics use kits like this for handling databases in the 
multi-terabyte range.

Sorry, but as much as I like Linux, there is no way in hell it can 
touch these kinds of numbers; boxes like this (and their OSes) are
specialized as hell.  Linux on commodity Intel hardware can't even 
come close to matching this.

Linux fine-tuned for mainframes would be another story, but isn't 
a stable enough reality yet (IBM is working on this, though...)

Don Werve <donw@examen.com>
Unix System Administrator

Plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens.
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