[MUD-Dev] Database vs. Disk

Dave Rickey mahrinskel at brokentoys.org
Mon May 19 21:51:53 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.

> We're considering moving to database because it'd provide us alot
> of extra versatility, but I'd like some informed opinions. Not so
> much whether a SQL database would be more efficient, but would it
> be drastically inefficient on a MUD with a large number of objects
> (500,000 to 2,000,000)?

> I know it depends on many factors, let's assume a mySQL database
> without alot of bells and whistles on the DB end (stored
> procedures, etc.).

> I'm not trying to start a holy war, I just wanted some practical
> advice on whether this is even worth considering, and maybe some
> blantant issues we should be aware of by attempting it.

I used MySQL for holding datasets I wanted to analyze for Camelot,
some of them quite large (1.3 million records for the largest
table).  For your purposes (where any of those objects might be read
or over-written at any time, in real time), MySQL might not be
adequate (without a monster machine with lots of high speed RAM that
you probably can't afford).  If you have a lot of low-grade machines
to throw at it, and are fairly good at architecting a distributed
storage solution like that, it could work.  But I'd recommend that
you look at PostGres, also open-source and more amenable to being
optimized for write-heavy, real-time environments.

A lot of it depends on how often you have to read/write your
records, and how important a real-time response is.  If you're only
going to be reading/writing 20 records per second, and you don't
care if you're occasionally a few seconds behind, fairly modest
hardware running MySQL could probably do what you need.

--Dave


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