[MUD-Dev] Database vs. Disk

John A. Bertoglio jb at co-laboratory.com
Fri May 23 11:01:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: "J C Lawrence" <claw at kanga.nu>
> Kwon Ekstrom <justice at softhome.net> wrote:
>> From: "Nicolai Hansen" <nic at aub.dk>
>>> Bruce wrote:

>> I've personally found that at the small to medium scale that
>> performance is better with a file based system.

> 20 years ago one of the big fights in the MUD server world was
> whether disk-based systems could perform even marginally as well
> as in-memory systems.  At that time Marcus Ranum wrote UnterMUD
> and UberMUD, both of which used disk-based databases for game
> content while (in several cases) offering significantly better
> performance and scalability than the then common in-memory systems
> (cf MOO).

This argument is moot for any dbms that utilizes effictive
caching. With a caching model, recently requested data is kept in
memory (including writes) until it is replaced by newer data. By
buffering writes to disk, additional bottlenecks are avoided. This
is even more critical if you are storing objects in a database
because even the most trivial request can result in a lot of
activity as objects are swizled into memory to get the required
information. Caching provides the advantages of in-memory data
without using system resources for data no one is interested in at
the moment. The larger the system, the bigger the advantage with a
DB.

I do not know about stuff like mySQL, Oracle and SQL/Server but I
assume they must have some provision for this.

John Bertogio
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