O’Reilly Network: OpenBSD as a Database Server

“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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