Chapter 1. Introduction

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Chapter 1. Introduction

VoltDB is a best-in-class database designed specifically for high volume transactional applications. Other books describe the individual features and functions of VoltDB. However, getting the most out of any technology is not just a matter of features; it is using the features effectively, in the right combination, and in the right context.

The goal of this book is to explain how to achieve maximum performance using VoltDB. Performance is affected by many different factors, including:

  • The design of your database and its stored procedures

  • The client applications

  • The configuration of the servers that run the database

  • The network that connects the servers

Understanding the impact of each factor and the relationship between them can help you both design better solutions and detect and correct problems in a running system. However, first you must understand the product itself. If you are new to VoltDB, it is strongly recommended that you read VoltDB Tutorial and Using VoltDB before reading this book.

1.1. What Affects Performance?

There is no single factor that drives performance or even a single definition for what constitutes "good" performance. VoltDB is designed to provide exceptional throughput and much of this book is dedicated to an explanation of how you can maximize throughput in your application design and hardware configuration.

However, another aspect of performance that is equally important to database applications is durability: resilience against — and ability to recover from — hardware failures and other error conditions. VoltDB has features that enhance database durability. However, these features have their own requirements, particularly on system sizing and configuration.

All applications are different. There is no single combination of application design, hardware configuration, or database features that can satisfy them all. Your specific requirements drive the trade offs that need to be made concerning how you configure the database system as a whole. The goal of this book is to provide you with the facts you need to make an informed decision about those trade offs.

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