[MUD-Dev] Database vs. Disk

Weston Fryatt wfryatt at muuf.com
Mon May 19 13:43:42 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: "Tom" <tom at interspaces.com>

> I'm sure this has been addressed before, although I haven't found
> anything really direct so far. Aside from conjecture, does anyone
> have some practical experience using a database as opposed to disk
> for storing MUD objects, or projects and experience similar enough.

To add more fuel to the fire here..

I personally think that today's "high end" database servers are very
capable of handling the loads of an MMOG. Maybe I'm crazy for
thinking this (people thought the Wright brothers were crazy too)

Why do I think in the long run a database server is better than a
flat file?

  1: Database servers are designed to handle loads like
  this.. Thousands of connections and queries a second.

  2: Scalability, Reliability, and Failover. Most big named SQL
  Servers like Oracle are very scaleable, to multiprocessors or
  clusters of database servers.

  3: 24/7 Operation

  4: Tried and Tested

  5: Multi-Platform.  Most big database servers like Oracle are
  multi-platform, So today you can start off with an PC x86 version
  and tomorrow, switch over to a Solaris. All without rewriting any
  code...

When you are building your SQL queries, Use the KISS (Keep It Simple
Stupid) method, Don't expect great performance if you are doing a
query across 10 tables with and's and or's in the where clause
.. The query has to be as simple as possible! Take time to think
about your table layout and queries.  It does make a big difference.

Using a flat file you are having to rebuild, a database server from
the ground up providing all of the things that a database server
already does for you.  To me.. It the different of building your own
3D engine or using a commercial engine in today's 3D games.. Using
an off the shelf engine saves years in the game development. The
same is true for using an off the shelf database server.

Granted I'm no expert here on MMOG design (that's why I'm here to
learn more), But not using a database server for today's MMOG games
seem backwards to me. I'm sure, I'm going to be flamed to death here
for my non-conventional thinking.. But if you never try anything
new.. then there is no point in trying at all.. Push the envelope!

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