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I can sustain this claim. I work with a system implemented almost entirely in Oracle PL/SQL. Some tables in the system are nearing 800-900 columns, their size often exceeds 600 GB per table (not many of such large tables though). Querying isn't a problem at all. Large schema changes are also mostly painless. The only point at which one has to be really careful is when a schema change requires actual calculations based on historic data with an additional write on each record.

A lot of criticisms I read about the immutable limits of RDBMSes turn out, upon closer inspection, to be criticisms of MySQL. Oracle sort of sails past these limitations like a superliner: expensively and gracefully.

Not that I particularly like Oracle as a programmer. I have to check my calendar every time I hit the 32-character limit for names or once again have to write

    some_field_expressing_truth  varchar2(1);
    constraint "y_or_n" check some_field_expressing_truth in ('Y','N');
But relational databases already scale to petabytes and millions of transactions per minute. Just not in the opensource world ... not yet, anyhow.

Well PostgreSQL does scale to millions of simple read-only transactions per minute, at least in some benchmarks. And in PostgreSQL 9.2 it will scale much better, in the synthetic benchmark it reached about 13 million per minute at high concurrency (compared to about 2.5 million for 9.1).


Hence "not yet".

It's been amazing watching the performance surge in postgres these past few years. I wonder if Red Hat or similar will try sponsoring a tilt at the TPC-C crown in future.

Back before Sun bought MySQL they started doing a lot of performance work on Postgres. They didn't go after TPC, but they did show it was only(?) 12% slower than Oracle for SpecjAppServer: http://www.informationweek.com/news/201001901

If you want something to play with that could scale to that size (although maybe not ready for production), see Postgres-XC (http://postgres-xc.sourceforge.net/). This looks promising.

The Wisconsin Courts system has servers running PostgreSQl that they say scale up to millions of transactions per day on 16 cores w/128MB RAM/

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