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Conversely, you could have a NoSQL layer below Postgres, where PG stores and indexes metadata which tells it which, of many, small NoSQL dbs to find the actual data in. These data dbs then can be sharded/replicated across physical systems as you like. You loose some raw speed on reads, but avoid a global write lock and the system scales quite well. I've started playing around with such a system with https://github.com/cloudflare/SortaSQL


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Had some of the same issues with HBase. Ended up going back to Postgres too, but with a twist: http://www.slideshare.net/cloudflare/sortasql


What filesystem did you end up using? Ever looked at GlusterFS (http://www.gluster.org/)? From an (admittedly unscientific) comparison of the various free/open-source distributed filesystems, it seems the best to me.

Ceph is still in beta, and the fact that Lustre only supports a single Metadata Server is really scary to me.


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