How would you build a RAMzilla?

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Recently I wrote a blog post detailing some gear we use for large scale data backups (“How do you backup a ton of stuff?”)

So here is what I’m looking at: Giant RAM drive.

The workstation-class system with 24 GB RAM is under a grand.

Solid server-grade stuff from Dell with 32 GB RAM is $1683. Double the RAM and the price nearly quadruples. But that’s Dell.

The idea of running a primary database or an entire system virtualized on a ramdisk has a huge appeal. We run a lot of stuff in a ramdisk to make a more responsive experience and with the replication to more reliable stuff it makes for an awesome solution.

So what do you think, have you had to build something beefy? I know the easy way is to just go to SSD but the performance is really not the same.

One Response to How would you build a RAMzilla?

  1. Chris Knight says:

    Was thinking along the same lines today and reached a similar conclusion – that a 24GB Core i7 box was going to be the cost-effective solution, with multiple box clusters providing the redundancy.

    The problem then becomes what methods you put in place if a single node becomes too small for whatever your work unit is.

    Would be nice to make a box a NUMA node without needing all the HPC crap that goes along with it. Like extending QPI out a set of back-to-back (or even meshed) NICs to the other boxes. Dreaming…

    Or it could be easier to better design the system to require less than 24GB for the work units… 🙁

    Oh well, back to looking at OpenSSI and see if I can shoehorn it for a quick implementation. Wish me luck!

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