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Displaying posts with tag: cloud database (reset)
Do you need an elastic database?

Not every company or application needs an elastic database. Some applications can get by just fine on a single database server, rendering database elasticity moot from their perspective. To make this determination, simply ask yourself:
1. Will I need more than a single database server? Look at your current load and your projected growth and ask yourself whether it will exceed the capacity of a single server. If it doesn’t now, nor will it in the future, then you don’t need an elastic database.
2. Will my load fluctuate sufficiently to warrant the investment in elasticity? If your database requirements won’t experience fluctuations in demand—e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal changes in the number of servers required—then elasticity isn’t important. For example, if you have a social networking application that requires 2 database nodes 24x7, but peaks at 10 nodes for 2 hours a night, then elasticity is important. If your …

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Cloud Elasticity & Databases

The primary reasons people are moving to the public cloud are: (1) replace capital expenses with operating expenses (pay as you go); (2) use shared resources for processes like back-up, maintenance, networking (shared expenses); (3) use shared infrastructure that enables you to pay only for those resources you actually use, instead of consuming your maximum load resources at all times (pay-per-use). The first thing you’ll notice is that all 3 cloud benefits have their basis in finances or the cloud business model.
We will focus in on #3 above: Pay-Per-Use. The old school model was to build your compute infrastructure for the maximum load today, plus growth over the life-cycle of the equipment, plus some buffer so the systems don’t get overloaded from spikes in usage. The net result is that your average usage might run 10% of the potential for the infrastructure you mortgaged your home to buy. In other words, you were paying 10X more than …

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ScaleDB: Shared-Disk / Shared-Nothing Hybrid

The primary database architectures—shared-disk and shared-nothing—each have their advantages. Shared-disk has functional advantages such as high-availability, elasticity, ease of set-up and maintenance, eliminates partitioning/sharding, eliminates master-slave, etc. The shared-nothing advantages are better performance and lower costs. What if you could offer a database that is a hybrid of the two; one that offers the advantages of both. This sounds too good to be true, but it is fact what ScaleDB has done.
The underlying architecture is shared-disk, but in many situations it can operate like shared-nothing. You see the problems with shared-disk arise from the messaging necessary to (a) ship data among nodes and storage; and (b) synchronize the nodes in the cluster. The trick is to move the messaging outside of the transaction so it doesn’t impact performance. The way to achieve that is to exploit locality. Let …

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The CAP Theorem Event Horizon

The CAP Theorem has become a convenient excuse for throwing data consistency under the bus. It is automatically assumed that every distributed system falls prey to CAP and therefore must sacrifice one of the three objectives, with consistency being the consistent fall guy. This automatic assumption is simply false. I am not debating the validity of the CAP Theorem, but instead positing that the onset of CAP limitations—what I call the CAP event horizon—does not start as soon as you move to a second master database node. Certain approaches can, in fact, extend the CAP event horizon.
Physics tells us that different properties apply at different scales. For example, quantum physics displays properties that do not apply at larger scale. We see similar nuances in scaling databases. For example, if you are running a master slave database, using synchronous replication with a single slave is no problem. Add nine more slaves and it slows the …

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ScaleDB Cache Accelerator Server (CAS): A Game Changer for Clustered Databases

ScaleDB and Oracle RAC are both clustered databases that use a shared-disk architecture. As I have mentioned previously, they both actually share data via a shared cache, so it might be more appropriate to call them shared-cache databases.

Whether it is called shared-disk or shared-cache, these databases must orchestrate the sharing of a single set of data amongst multiple nodes. This introduces two challenges: the physical sharing of the data and the logical sharing of the data.

Physical Sharing:
Raw storage is meant to work on a 1:1 basis with a single server. In order to share that data amongst multiple servers, you need either a Network File System (NFS), which shares whole files, or a Cluster File System (CFS), which shares data blocks.

Logical Sharing:
This is specific to …

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Database Architectures & Performance II

As described in the prior post, the shared-disk performance dilemma is simple:

1. If each node stores/processes data in memory, versus disk, it is much faster.
2. Each node must expose the most recent data to the other nodes, so those other nodes are not using old data.

In other words, #1 above says flush data to disk VERY INFREQUENTLY for better performance, while #2 says flush everything to disk IMMEDIATELY for data consistency.

Oracle recognized this dilemma when they built Oracle Parallel Server (OPS), the precursor to Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC). In order to address the problem, Oracle developed Cache Fusion.

Cache fusion is a peer-based shared cache. Each node works with a certain set of data in its local cache, until another node needs that data. When one node …

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Database Architectures & Performance

For decades the debate between shared-disk and shared-nothing databases has raged. The shared-disk camp points to the laundry list of functional benefits such as improved data consistency, high-availability, scalability and elimination of partitioning/replication/promotion. The shared-nothing camp shoots back with superior performance and reduced costs. Both sides have a point.

First, let’s look at the performance issue. RAM (average access time of 200 nanoseconds) is considerably faster than disk (average access time of 12,000,000 nanoseconds). Let me put this 200:12,000,000 ratio into perspective. A task that takes a single minute in RAM would take 41 days in disk. So why do I bring this up?

Shared-Nothing: Since the shared-nothing database has sole ownership of its data—it doesn’t share the data with other nodes—it can operate in the machine’s local RAM, only writing infrequently to disk (flushing the data …

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ScaleDB Introduces Clustered Database Based Upon Water Vapor

ScaleDB is proud to announce the introduction of a database that takes data storage to a new level, and a new altitude. ScaleDB’s patent pending “molecular-flipping technology” enables low energy molecular flipping that changes selected water molecules from H20 to HOH, representing positive and negative states that mimic the storage mechanism used on hard drive disks.

“Because we act at the molecular level, we achieve massive storage density with minimal energy consumption, which is critical in today’s data centers, where energy consumption is the primary cost,” said Mike Hogan, ScaleDB CEO. “A single thimble of water vapor provides the same storage capacity as a high-end SAN.”

The technology does have one small challenge: persistence. Clouds are not known for their persistence. ScaleDB relies on the Cumulus formation, since it is far beefier than some of those wimpy cirrus clouds. However, when deployed …

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