New database platform launched

I’m very pleased to announce the completion of an internal project to replace our ageing database hardware with powerful new hardware and the latest version of our database software. The changes, launched last week, have already resulted in improved performance across the entire system and have slashed page load times.

For those interested in the technical details of the new setup, the platform now uses MySQL 5 on Dell PowerEdge 2950 servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (64-bit). We’re replicating to slave database servers to help balance application reads across our web servers and each new box has 16Gb of RAM and fast discs configured in RAID 0 and 0+1 for fast I/O.

In addition to new hardware, we’ve identified areas of the database structure that can be optimised and we’ll be rolling out schema improvements over the next weeks and months. We’re not resting on our laurels; performance is a moving target and we’ll continue to measure and improve as the platform grows.

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