Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 30th Jan 2012 20:39 UTC
General Unix Finally something really interesting to talk about. If you've used UNIX or any of its derivatives, you've probably wondered why there's /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin in the file system. You may even have a rationalisation for the existence of each and every one of these directories. The thing is, though - all these rationalisations were thought up after these directories were created. As it turns out, the real reasoning is pretty damn straightforward.
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I've seen lots of databases, from oracle, MySQL, MS, Sybase...

None of them are any where near as fast as a filesystem.

Try searching blobs for information... VERY slow.

Try locating a blob given just a short name... nope. not gonna find it.

Try searching for all files of that name... Fairly quick at that... depending on how many indexes it has to go through.

Try maintaining metadata (acls, permissions, ownerships..) possible.. but try searching- REALLY slow.

How long does it take to recover? databases have to replay their journals.. can take hours for a database of a couple of GB. Especially if it is updated continuously.

Databases have their place. They are very good at non-structured small units of data. Relational database suck at structured data though - they have to constantly rebuild the structure. SLOW.

Filesystems have been tried in databases (look at sqlfs for one). They can work. But they are really slow.

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