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Re: postgres on a beowulf? (AMD)opteron?

From: "scott(dot)marlowe" <scott(dot)marlowe(at)ihs(dot)com>
To: george young <gry(at)ll(dot)mit(dot)edu>
Cc: <pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: postgres on a beowulf? (AMD)opteron?
Date: 2003-05-20 15:37:03
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Lists: pgsql-performance
On Mon, 19 May 2003, george young wrote:

> Has anyone run postgres on a beowulf system? 
> I'm shopping for a new server.  One candidate would be a
> quad opteron (64-bit AMD "hammer") machine.  Another approach might
> be a beowulf of single or dual opterons.  I imagine the beowulf
> would be a bit cheaper, and much more expandable, but what about
> the shared memory used by the postgres backends?  I gather that
> postgres uses shared memory to coordinate (locks?) between backends?
> I have a smallish DB (pgdump|bzip2 -> 10MB), with ~45 users logged in
> using local X(python/gtk) postgres client apps. 
> Will the much slower shared memory access between beowulf nodes be
> a performance bottleneck?  

Save yourself some money on the big boxes and get a fast drive subsystem 
and lots of memory, those are more important than raw horsepower, and any
dual Opteron / Itanium2 / USparc III / PPC / Xeon machine has plenty of 
CPU ponies to handle the load.

We use dual PIII's for most of our serving, and while our front end web 
servers need to grow a bit to handle all the PHP we're throwing at them, 
the postgresql database on the dual PIII-750 is still plenty fast.  I.e. 
our bottlenecks are elsewhere than pgsql.

I don't know anyone off the top of my head that's running postgresql on an 
Opteron, by the way, but I expect it should work fine.  You're more likely 
to have problems finding a distribution that works well on top of an 
Opteron than to have problems with pgsql.

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