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O'Reilly Network: OpenBSD as a Database Server

Oct 22, 2000, 13:37 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Jorm)

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"An increasingly common tenant of the Internet world is the "online" database server, with functions ranging from dynamic content storage and generation to user information storage and webmail/message board services. The most common database server used online is MS SQL Server, particularly prominent in the corporate sector, in conjunction with ASP to process and format information between the web interface and the database back end. Recent security problems with MS SQL and IIS (with which ASP generally interoperates) has left plenty to be desired from the product and furthered the cause of alternatives, such as PHP and MySQL under Linux or BSD. In terms of security, price, performance, and scalability, PHP/MySQL performs very advantageously compared to commercial alternatives. Support for OpenBSD (within PHP in particular) has in the past been sketchy, but things appear to be improving now. PHP3 and MySQL are both in the ports tree distributed with OpenBSD 2.7, making installation and configuration a relatively simple process. For very high load sites, it is recommended to recompile Apache with PHP as a static object; the ports tree installation detailed below will build a DSO (Dynamic Server Object) that is still extremely fast for all but the highest load sites...."

"Larger database operations, generally defined within the industry as "enterprise" databases, begin to impact system resources to the extent that special configuration or hardware selection may be necessary to cope. Although I in no way purport OpenBSD as an enterprise database server (yet!), capacity exists for this. The steps I've taken on my high-traffic database server to increase speed are...."

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