Performance issues in mid-sized relational database machines

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Title: Performance issues in mid-sized relational database machines
Author: Sullivan, Larry
Abstract: Relational database systems have provided end users and application programmers with an improved working environment over older hierarchial and networked database systems. End users now use interactive query languages to inspect and manage their data. And application programs are easier to write and maintain due to the separation of physical data storage information from the application program itself. These and other benefits do not come without a price however. System resource consumption has long been the perceived problem with relational systems. The additional resource demands usually force computing sites to upgrade existing systems or add additional facilities. One method of protecting the current investment in systems is to use specialized hardware designed specifically for relational database processing. 'Database Machines' provide that alternative. Since the commercial introduction of database machines in the early 1980's, both software and hardware vendors of relational database systems have claimed superior performance over competing products. Without a STANDARD performance measurement technique, the database user community has been flooded with benchmarks and claims from vendors which are immediately discarded by some competitors as being biased towards a particular system design. This thesis discusses the issues of relational database performance measurement with an emphasis on database machines, however; these performance issues are applicable to both hardware and software systems. A discussion of hardware design, performance metrics, software and database design is included. Also provided are recommended guidelines to use in evaluating relational database systems in lieu of a standard benchmark methodology.
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Date: 1989

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