With the growing acceptance of database systems, the performance of these systems becomes increasingly more important. One way to gain performance is to off-load some of the functions of the database system to a backend computer. The problem is what functions should be off-loaded to maximize the benefits of distributed processing.

The approach in this research consists of constructing several variants of an existing relational database system, INGRES, that partition the database system software into two parts, and assigning these two parts to two computers connected by a local area network. For the purposes of this experiment, six different variants of the database software were constructed to test the six most interesting functional subdivisions. Each variant was then benchmarked using two different databases and query streams. The communication medium and software were also benchmarked to measure their contribution to the performance of each configuration.

Combining the database and network measurement results, various conclusions were reached about the viability of the configurations, the desirable properties of the communications mechanisms to be used, the operating system interface and overhead, and the performance of the database system. The variants to be preferred depend on the hardware technology, operating system features, database system internal structure, and network software overhead.





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