Jonathan Schwartz made the kind of news that makes Slash Dotters happy: he announced Sun is (sort of) giving away free servers. It’s a promotion, a media play, of course, but one that might make a few lucky people very happy.
Here’s the deal: Sun is really proud of their new T2000 eight core server. Each core runs at 1.2GHz, but they’re apparently applying some distributive power of multiplication and calling it an 9.6GHz machine and touting some impressive performance benchmarks. But rather than play the game of “our experts are better than your experts” against other vendors, they’ve extended a pretty generous try and buy program to users themselves. And, as Jonathan made noise in his blog post, a few people might get lucky enough to keep their machines.
So what’s my angle? WPopac rocks, and performance is excellent with my test corpus (160,000 bib records) on even a lowly single-CPU server with only 1GB of RAM, despite the fact that each bib record is represented in both its composed form in the wp_posts table and as about 20 more rows per record in a separate table (yup, I’ve got almost 3 million rows representing every atomic detail of every bib record), and all of this is full-text indexed.
And I’m fully confident that when I put our entire catalog into WPopac, all 330,000 bib records (resulting in about 6.2 million atomic records), performance will still be up to the task. My math suggests everything should be ducky on a relatively budget server up beyond about 1 million bib records, but what happens for libraries that have more than that, say, perhaps 6 to 8 million bib records (again, 110 to 150 million atomic records; again, all full-text indexed in MySQL)?
It would seem that WPopac’s combination of, um, large MySQL databases with high-volume Apache/PHP should be an ideal fit for the T2000’s big RAM space and support for high numbers of parallel threads. Jonathan claims the T2000 costs a modest $5,000 (but the online store shows a higher price?) and outperforms everything else, but is it up to WPopac? Do they want to try?