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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Smile Unanswered: Recommended Hardware Specs?

    I know bigger/faster = better but in a practical situation I was wondering what an optimal solution would be for my current situation.

    My company is currently looking for a dedicated database server for the intranet (around 300+ employees) which will have minimal applications (RH Linux 7.x, apache, Postgres, Mysql, maybe CVS). The mysql databases are probably at 200,000 records at most and will pretty much stay capped at that since they are mostly used for legacy apps, however the postgres databases are at around 300,000 records total and those will steadily climb.

    The sysadmin asked what specs we should be looking for (I don't know I'm just a programmer I just want it to run ) so I thought I'd give these forums a shot. I'm looking for something that would give decent performance and stability but not necessarily cutting edge. Nothing too flashy, just practical and, preferably, cheap.

    Any input with regards to :
    # of Processors
    hard drive space (also IDE, SCSI?, RAID?)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    3 Factors:

    Postgresql has at the moment no chance to split one query to multiple cpu's
    so if you have long queries you will be better with less cpu's

    Is always good
    512 MB RAM will get your needs
    1 GB is good

    No IDE
    postgresql needs a god I/O performance
    I think SCSI will fit your practical needs

    Hope this helps you a little bit
    --Postgresql is the only kind of thing--

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Thanks for your reply! Any ideas about CPU speed, and preference over what type (Intel or AMD)?

    Thanks again,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    does not matter i think

    I have a "religious" tendence to AMD
    so my opinion does not count :-)

    no I think AMD is cheaper and has the same performance
    I have to buy more Pc's a year and Intel is too expensive in the long run
    --Postgresql is the only kind of thing--

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Yes, I have recently become an AMD zealot over the past years as well, I just didn't want to allow my predilection get the better of me. Thanks again, I will pass all this info onto my sysadmin.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    I'm an AMD zelot too. It does run hotter than intel, so it may not be the best choice unless you can keep it cool.

    My setup is a dual amd board (tyan k7), 1 gig ram with 2 scsi cheetah drives - indexes and data files are on separate drives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Lightbulb Re: Recommended Hardware Specs?

    I've used postgres for an internal reporting system that tracked over 125 million events from over 20 million event sources. Yes, this means joining tables of 20 million rows with tables of 125 million rows.
    Overall, the disk size of the database is about 30 Gig.

    Some observations I had regarding your questions...

    # of Processors.
    So long as noone needs to use the system while large
    batch jobs (backups, data loading, etc) are going on, one
    processor is fine. If large batch jobs are needed, 2 may
    be needed. Most of the time my database is limted by
    disk IO, and not CPU time.

    How many of your 300 uses will by using the system
    simultaneously? If a lot will, multiple CPUs can help.
    If not, they won't.

    My guess is 1 fast CPU is much more affordable than 2 slower ones.

    hard drive space (also IDE, SCSI?, RAID?)
    Postgres uses about 2-4X the disk space of MySQL (due
    to 30+ bytes of information per row it uses to support MVCC).
    For your needs, I think most hard disks will meet your
    size needs.

    I am under the impression that the SCSI/IDE difference
    (in performance) is much smaller than it used to be with
    the 8-Meg-caches on newer IDE devices. Anecdotally,
    SCSI devices are more reliable, but both can fail and
    neither is a substitute for redundancy and/or backups.

    You either need RAID or a good backup/replication strategy.
    Today I have neither; but am thinking of moving to having
    to parallel systems using replication so I always have a hot

    Depends mostly on how many simultaneous users you'll
    be serving. If you do get a machine with a lot of memory (1/2 gig)
    make sure you play with postgresql.conf configuration file (notably
    the values of max_connections, shared_buffers, max_fsm_pages,
    max_fsm_relations) to make sure you take advantage of the
    memory on your system.

    If you have enough memory, and set the config files right,
    it may cache enough of your data that my comments on
    being disk IO bound don't apply to youl.

    My guess is that

    Any CPU at all (>= 1GHz).
    1/2 Gig of memory will meet your needs for a long time.

    Either RAID, or get two systems each running a database
    and use some sort of replication (either scripts w/ cron-jobs,
    or something more sophisticated) in case one dies.

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