RedSheriff has completed the migration of its core transaction processing systems to the PostgreSQL database on Intel servers.
RedSheriff’s chief technology officer John Griffin said although the move has been an “incremental and ongoing process”, it was based on lower TCO.
“We began the transition 12 months ago with the principal costs being associated with integrating the Postgres backend into our systems. A lot of work also went into tuning the hardware and operating system,” Griffin said.
“It made a lot more sense from a business point of view to spend $10,000 at a time on Intel servers, rather than spending $500,000 on a single Unix server. Intel systems are also more horizontally scalable than vertical, which suits the nature of our architecture.”
Before switching to PostgreSQL on FreeBSD and Linux, RedSheriff had used a number of database systems, including Oracle 8 and 9, MSSQL Server and proprietary database technologies.
“There are good tools for the administration of PostgreSQL databases and I would say the administrative overhead is slightly less than for commercial databases, due principally to the lack of some difficult to administer enterprise features,” Griffin said.
According to the company, RedSheriff processes 10 billion records a month and the total amount of data managed is more than 32TB. Griffin said PostgreSQL has been in production for 12 months with not a single database fault in that time “The stability of the database can not be questioned. Needless to say, we are extremely happy.
"The scalability of the platform is good, however, there were several features – such as table partitioning – that we have had to compensate for at the application level,” Griffin said.
With all systems are configured identically and run by in-house staff, Griffin said the TCO is low; however, considerable tuning of the operating system and investment in hardware is required for good performance.
Intel Australia and New Zealand channel account manager Marco Pantano said Xeon-based systems have the power to support large and complex relational databases.
“[for large systems] It's not a case of 64-bit being better or worse than 32-bit,” Pantano said. “Server choice always comes down to meeting particular business objectives. In RedSheriff's case it was looking for a solution that offered excellent price performance, reliability and could scale horizontally with them as they grow.”