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Which is the best database OS?

Apr 24, 20062 mins

NetWare is often held up as the best x86 platform for file and print, due to its architecture. For example: stripped-down kernel, cooperative multitasking and protocol optimization for network file requests. Is there similarly an OS that is architecturally the best for a dedicated database server?

– Michael

This is not a simple question. There are really two choices to be made. One is the OS that the database server will run on and the other is the database server itself. First, decide which database engine you want to use. The application, or what you want to do with the database, may dictate that for you. Once you have made that decision, that will probably dictate which server OS you’ll be running on. You will have a better time implementing a dedicated database server when it fits your needs instead of having to adjust to what the database can do.

To get the best bang for your buck, once you have selected the database engine and OS, start looking for the best hardware for the job. Some database engines will have some type of hardware-compatibility list that will detail the hardware that the vendor has tested or which is known to work with the database engine in question. This is where you need to be pretty specific, right down to the version of the BIOS firmware on the RAID controller you’re considering. Another hardware-related question: What type of drive carving do you need to do – drive striping, RAID 1, RAID 5, etc.? This also has an impact on database server performance.

After you have decided on the server OS, database engine and system hardware, you still need to think about memory. To a degree, you can never have enough memory in the server. The more the server can do in memory should mean the faster it will be able to respond to requests from the network.

Keeping the server OS and database engine up to date can also go a long way in helping keep things running smoothly. Oracle issued a statement to all their database customers several years ago to the effect that the customer is expected to have all the latest Windows updates applied before calling Oracle Support for database problems.