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I am contemplating migrating to mosso to have several cheap app servers.

The goal is to have a dedicated database server, however, does it make sense to have one database server that hosts the database needs of many different website servers (each having different websites on them)


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Its a very common way of doing it. It makes sense in number of ways

  • All databases are on the same server so backup is easier
  • You can have a secure, back-end database server, not connected to the internet directly and only accessible by the the web servers
  • You can specify your database server so that it is big enough to handle your data processing, whilst leaving your front end servers light and just processing web tasks
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Ah yes, I was thinking of the backup ease as well. – phillc May 8 '09 at 18:46

It makes sense. That is the way we have it in our College, and that's the way many people/companies have it setup too. We have dedicated SQL servers, the same way we have dedicated web servers, etc. Mosso doesn't seem too cheap thought...

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1.5 cents an hour = $11 + change / month... how is that not cheap? – phillc May 8 '09 at 18:45
Actually Mosso is relatively inexpensive for a VPS if you're using low bandwidth. It's a base cost of $11/month plus bandwidth. – David Z May 8 '09 at 18:45

IMHO, so long as the server can handle the load I prefer to centralize as much as possible. It tends to make my job easier and when that happens I can react faster and more efficiently when necessary.

There are downsides, especially in a shared environment. Of special note, consolidated environment downfalls include

  • higher security risks
  • higher risk of failure
  • a single failure can mean an outage for a larger percent of your userbase
  • for a consolidated db server, disk IO quickly becomes of paramount importance (ok, not necessarily a downfall, just a point to keep in mind)
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The biggest issue I can think of is security, and the questions that you need to consider are:

  • Does your company/organization have regulatory compliance to follow with regard to data storage/protect (sarbox, hipaa, etc)?

  • Will you need to separate and manage database access to different administrative users? That is, users in the database software itself, not just people users.

  • Is multi-tenant use a concern? This is related to the first Q above, but can be a separate issue if you're providing virtual hosting for web sites.

I don't see anything wrong with running multiple web sites off a single database server (though a single database is another story ;-)), as long as you consider the context of the data being stored and the security implications. The logistics of backup, maintenance/management and general administration can be mitigated through various tools automation techniques. Since you're talking about a cloud offering for this (Mosso), then you'll need to consider the performance implications as well.

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