Did you ever hear a claim that sounded too bad to be true?
So this past Tuesday at Velocity 2010, Brett Piatt gave a workshop on the Cassandra database. I was seated in the audience and quite interested in everything he had to say about running Cassandra, given that I’ve been working on adding Cassandra and other scalable data stores to Ubuntu.
Then at one point, up popped a table that made me curious.
Ding ding ding.. in this corner, wearing black shorts and a giant schema, we have over 11 million records in MySQL with a complex set of rules governing which must be searchable and which must not be. And in that corner, we have the contender, a kid from the back streets, outweighed and out reached by all his opponents, but still victorious in the queue shootout, with just open source, and 12 patch releases.. written in C, its gearman!
This week was an ugly one for my monster database servers. It should have been triumphant, but oddly enough, I think it shows how prone to mistuning InnoDB on MySQL 5.0 is with multiple cores.
This server is a multi-core, high concurrency server. The application has been designed a little bit naively in that it just throws almost all queries at the main db server. Several bits have been designed to scale by not doing that, but unfortunately, huge amounts of functionality were built around those apps to prevent them from scaling.
As a result, we’ve had to scale up the central database server and its redundant systems significantly. We started with the Proliant DL380 G4 with two Xeon 3.4Ghz CPU’s and 12GB of RAM, and plenty of disks in an external RAID. As more traffic was added, we moved up to the DL580 servers with 4 Xeon 3.4Ghz and 64GB of RAM. This worked well, but still more traffic, and more data, was coming and the app wasn’t ready to change significantly. We finally landed on the latest DL580 server, with 1GB of total battery backed write cache, 14 SAS disks, 128GB of RAM, and two quad core Xeon CPU’s.