I’ve been in a lot of Cloud-flavored discussions recently about what kind of Platform-as-a-Service offerings might hit sweet spots. On several occasions, People Who Should Know have said things like “A huge proportion of apps, even really big apps, can coast along just fine on a single MySQL instance with help from memcached.” Some numbers crossed my radar today that would tend to support that theory; and they’re sort of astounding.

Check out Zoran Radovic’s Scaling Memcached: 500,000+ Operations/Second with a Single-Socket UltraSPARC T2. The title kind of says it: hundreds of thousands of ops per second, and a saturated 10G Ethernet link, with a 1U single-socket server. Now, benchmarks aren’t reality, but them are still some mind-boggling numbers.

Our Shanti Subramanyam has been mining the same territory with the new Nehalem boxes; see Memcached Performance on Sun's Nehalem System and Multi-instance memcached performance. And there were some even scarier numbers being bandied about on an internal email list; stay tuned.

But still, at the end of the day, that throughput on a single-socket box is the real news story, to my eye.



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From: razmaspaz (May 21 2009, at 06:19)

Initially I think, wow thats cool, oracle owns this and they will certainly fold it into 25w or whatever version they are throwing out when it hits the roadmap, but the cynic in me says, how does this ever sell oracle licenses? It might be compelling to the customer, but does Oracle really want to tell the customer they can run their entire enterprise on a single CPU? Thats once license in place of what was likely 5 or 6 before...

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From: Wes Felter (May 21 2009, at 13:17)

I think you're on the right track here, and I hope people listen. I'm seeing a little too much "scalability isn't everything -- it's the only thing" and "SQL Is Dead because it Doesn't Scale" and "everyone must give up joins and data consistency" chatter lately. Where is the cloud for the rest of us (i.e. those of us who aren't building the next Twitter)?

Also, sockets don't matter. Price, performance, and power matter.

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From: Fabian Ritzmann (May 22 2009, at 03:37)

razmaspaz, try throwing in transactions, high availability and standards-compliant SQL and your enterprise will keep paying...

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From: Vidar Hokstad (May 26 2009, at 08:23)

razmaspaz,

You're thinking about MySQL, not Memcached. Completely different beasts - Memcached is not a database but a lossy (as in: data may disappear at any time), in-memory key-value store intended for caches etc.

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