Unsharing The Database

Randy Shoup talks about scaling up through breaking out a shared database:

For an early- and mid-stage startup, a monolithic database is absolutely the appropriate architecture choice. With a small team and a small company, a single shared database made it simple to get started. Moving fast meant being able to make rapid changes across the entire system. A shared database made it very easy to join data between different tables, and it made transactions across multiple tables possible. These are pretty convenient.

As we have gotten larger, those benefits have become liabilities. It has become a single point of failure, where issues with the shared database can bring down nearly all of our applications. It has become a performance bottleneck, where long-running operations from one application can slow down others. Finally, and most importantly, the shared database has become a coupling point between teams, slowing down our ability to make changes.

I have my misgivings (as you’d expect from a database snob), particularly because I value highly the benefits of normalization and see sharded systems as a step backwards in that regard.  But even with that said, there are absolutely benefits to slicing out orthogonal sections of data; the point of disagreement is in those places in which two teams’ entities and attributes overlap.

Related Posts

Finding Queries to Cache In-App

Brent Ozar provides guidance on the types of queries you might want to cache in your application: Question 2: Will out-of-date data really hurt? Some data absolutely, positively has to be up to the millisecond, but you’d be surprised how often I see data frequently queried out of the database when the freshness doesn’t really matter. […]

Read More

Problems Distributed Systems Experience

RJ Zaworski gives us examples of the types of problems you can run into with distributed systems: Time limits: ending the neverendingHere’s one to ponder: how long can a long-running action go on before the customer (even a very patient, very digital customer) loses all interest in the outcome?Pull up a chair. With no upper […]

Read More

Categories

May 2016
MTWTFSS
« Apr Jun »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031