Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to How would one handle 12,000 db backed request per second?

Hello everybody,

The 12,000 request per second peak load number is a realistic peak load number the system would have to be capable of if it is to be migrated off the mainframe onto the web.  It comes from the "powers that be".  I don't have access to their raw data.  I have to take them at their word.  They know how big their current system is.  They do have experts in their three data centers to feed them their numbers.

Due to confidentiality policies at work, I can't tell you what the system is.  I have said it's a nation wide financial system; that's all I can say without risking violating the rules at work.  If you think about it, there are lots of systems that do have this level of transaction processing.  Think banking, financial, trading and credit card systems.

As I stated earlier, I simply wanted to know if anyone had experience or thoughts on an internet system that big -- and if anyone knew for sure or not if an open source solution could handle the job in a production environment.

I thank everyone who replied.  It sounds like no firm votes of confidence are out there at this time that an open source solution can handle the kind of load the system would be under at the current level of open source software maturity.  That's fine.  Great to know.  I simply won't work on creating an open source proposal for consideration at this time.  Maybe with the next project; who knows.  It might be much smaller.  Maybe the world will just have to wait for Postgres version 15.2  :o)  Or maybe some magic will come from IBM's $1 Billion and open source lab efforts.  Exciting times ahead, I guess.

If my question or post have irritated anyone on this mater, that was not my intent.  My questions were very sincere and honestly made in the hope of learning enough specifics about what open source is capable of at the large scale end to be able to get open source at least considered and hopefully adopted where I work.

The folks on this board are a really super group of people I have and continue to learn a lot from.  I am and will continue to be grateful for all that you here share.  But since I can't share the specs of the proposed system openly with you all, I guess it's best if I don't ask anything further on this issue.  Maybe I shouldn't have asked in the first place.  I'm sorry if anyone here feels that's the case.

I'm a mainframe guy used to working on very large systems handling very large volumes of data and transactions.  It's only been the last year or two I've been moving towards distributed computing and the web from the mainframe's "glass house".

I mostly take for granted just how much data and transaction volume goes thru the mainframe systems I've worked on.  One thing about the mainframe space, it is a very mature, reliable, robust and secure environment at the Fortune 500 data center level.  It's very infrequent that environmental (i.e. non application) software causes any production problems in any system I've ever worked on.  Optimization and tuning have, for the most part been done and put in place long ago.  And the hoops you have to jump thru to touch it are horendous!  New projects, like this one, allow for new approches and solutions.  Unless someone can present a compelling case, the tried and true is basically replicated since it's less risky.

Learning to do it individually for *nix is certianly a difference.  Heck, it seems one cannot take anything for granted.  How you all have mangaged to wear practically every hat in the data center *so well* is a tribute to all here.

As is typical here, you all have given the help and info requested to help one of your fellow community members.  I thank you.  And I won't trouble you any more on this issue.  I just hope as I develop expertise as I move from newbie to more knowledgeable community member that I can contribute and help others as much as many of you here have.

Thanks again, one and all,