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Where Less Is More But You Still Pay Less: Hosting Your Database on a Raspberry Pi

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Where Less Is More But You Still Pay Less: Hosting Your Database on a Raspberry Pi

There's no such thing as too much performance. But what happens when your database software is so fast that it hits the limits of your hardware?

· Database Zone ·
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Is there such a thing as too much performance? No way! You can never have too much of a good thing.

But what happens when your database software is so fast that it hits the limits of your hardware? Even if your database has the ability double its performance, the nuts and bolts of what it’s running on simply can’t support it. It’s kind of like Scotty screaming at you, “You’ve got to cut power to the warp drive, the ship is breaking up!”

What happens when the capacity for performance is not synched with your traffic? Either you continue to use an inefficient system wherein you are burning electricity for no reason, or you have performance that is faster than the load on your site in which your servers are mostly idle. How do you get the most out of the database performance you have available to you without wasting money under or overusing your hardware?

Technology has developed the next answer: Your database can work on smaller servers. Working faster over smaller hardware translates into maintaining your capabilities while reducing your hardware costs. In the case of a large cluster, you can save on electricity and office space. 

Pi, Anyone?

Hosting your database on a Raspberry Pi is a good option.

A Raspberry Pi costs as much as a pair of blue jeans. Given the long tail distribution of the internet traffic, it is estimated that the lower 50% of internet websites can function seamlessly with good performance on such a small setup.

You can build a 3 Pi cluster for under 200 USD. Imagine being able to replicate, shard, and offer nonstop availability to your users at a fraction of the cost while maintaining performance at high levels on power efficient hardware. You will pay less for your own servers than for a monthly cloud provider.

Think about the flexibility you have as your computers age, and your next budget prioritizes product development over IT infrastructure, but you still need to offer a 2020 version of your application. Expanding performance beyond the hardware gives you better options in moving forward while staying within your budget.  

Imagine the availability you can offer your users when you can discard a server that isn’t working and replace it on-premise for less than what you’ll pay for lunch at the local restaurant.


Some of the newer versions of NoSQL databases fit snugly on smaller machines. One option is RavenDB, which works on Raspberry Pi 3 hardware. Such solutions can be ideal for IoT, reducing power consumption and processing costs at the edge, and maintaining load on smaller hardware by ramping up speed. A Raspberry Pi/RavenDB instance reaches up to 3,000 write requests per minute on internal storage.

Performance improvements are also a great opportunity if you are on the cloud. You can put on an instance of a fast database but pay less for fewer server needs. The higher performance will enable you to maintain the same load without sacrificing capability. You can serve your users on time at a fraction of the cost.

Large enterprises can save millions by simply putting their edge processing nodes on very cheap hardware like Raspberry Pi. Some large enterprises could save thousands on their servers currently made up of huge clusters sitting on older hardware. In fact, that’s how Google was built! When the next department-wide upgrade occurs, migrating to smaller machines can result in cost savings of millions of dollars.

For your application needs, quite often less is more.

database ,raspberry pi ,nosql ,database performance

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