Monday, January 7, 2019

Define "better"

Welcome to my first rant of 2019, although I have written about this before. While I enjoy benchmarketing from a distance it is not much fun to be in the middle of it. The RocksDB project has been successful and thus becomes the base case for products and research claiming that something else is better. While I have no doubt that other things can be better I am wary about the definition of better.

There are at least 3 ways to define better when evaluating database performance. The first, faster is better, ignores efficiency, the last two do not. I'd rather not ignore efficiency. The marginal return of X more QPS eventually becomes zero while the benefit of using less hardware is usually greater than zero.
  1. Optimize for throughput and ignore efficiency (faster is better)
  2. Get good enough performance and then optimize for efficiency
  3. Get good enough efficiency and then optimize for throughput
Call to action

I forgot to include this before publishing. Whether #1, #2 or #3 is followed I hope that more performance results include details on the HW consumed to create that performance. How much memory and disk space were used? What was the CPU utilization? How many bytes were read from and written to storage? How much random IO was used? I try to report both absolute and relative values where relative values are normalized by the transaction rate.

No comments:

Post a Comment