Parallel processing and distributed computing have
me for decades now. (Maybe I should have said years
-- then I wouldn't
be forced to confront my age.) Unfortunately, that interest
been translated into anything very useful. As a graduate
seriously pursued some paper designs and analysis of
data flow architectures,
but in the interest of expediency, based my degree on
some other work.
I've even tried twice, unsucessfully, since then to
salvage some small
part of the earlier work.
But, circumstances may finally be conspiring to give
chance to play with at least some limited distributed
of our business applications (as opposed to typesetting
arts) are hosted on a single, small UNIX box. Our growing
for peripheral support and database operations are rapidly
the capabilities of this machine, but I'd really like
to avoid the
expense of moving up into the next performance tier.
We're at that
awkward size where the price/performance ratio just
isn't that good.
So, we're playing with the idea of spreading our work
two cooperating hosts -- both running UNIX. The two
divisions seem to be:
- everything except database engine on one machine;
database files and database engine on the other;
- one relatively independent section of the database
on one machine, the balance of the database on the other,
between the two, and applications duplicated on both.
I tend to lean toward the first because, with a good
database manager, it should be cleaner to implement.
database operations have a far greater impact on response
any other part of our load, relegating the database
a separate machine would guarantee that all other applications
most simple data entry and query screens) would always
Unfortunately, I don't have any direct experience with
databases, or client-server transaction systems. And,
I know that
some vendors have released or are promising "distributed"
UNIX operating systems. Should I pursue one of those
Judging from our readers' comments and letters, I'm
not the only one
with unanswered questions in this domain.
So, this is a blatant attempt to pick your brain. If
experience with UNIX-based distributed computing, please
experience with me and our readers. Tell us what you've
were the surprises, what went well, how has it complicated
administration tasks, what you would do different if
you were to start