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    4. Administering a FrontBase Server
Updated: 20-Nov-2000
Table of Contents

4.10. Tuning FrontBase

Database server performance

Database server performance depends upon three things: CPU, RAM, and disk subsystem speed.

When your database is small (i.e. up to a hundred thousand rows per table) the performance is mainly dependent on the CPU speed: how fast the server can move data around. As your database grows larger, less of it fits into memory. Many databases are too large to fit in RAM at all times. Caches, caching strategies, and caching options greatly affect perceived performance. Eventually, your database becomes many times larger than the amount of available RAM. At that point, database server speed becomes most dependent on disk speed: how fast the server can get to the data.

Quite often, rather than upgrading your machine, you can install more RAM and upgrade the disk subsystem. You can also give the database server hints about how to cache data so that it can use the available RAM more effectively.

FrontBase's caching mechanisms

FrontBase offers an elaborate caching strategy with two major components accessible to and tunable by the database developer: table caching and the raw device driver (or global cache). The crucial quality of FrontBase caches is that the integrity offered by transactions is maintained. When data in the cache is updated, the same data is also written to the disk upon executing a COMMIT. The COMMIT succeeds only after the data is successfully written to disk.

When should caching be tuned?

If hitting the database server continually with SELECTs makes the CPU utilization percentage drop significantly, you should tune the caching mechanisms. In this case, the database server is waiting for the disk subsystem to deliver the data. You may be able to increase performance simply by adding RAM to the machine, or may need to tune caching.

Section/Article Description
4.10.1. Table Caching This article describes FrontBase's table cache settings, and explains how to adjust cache settings for a table.
4.10.2. Raw Device Driver

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