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6.5 Hardware and OS

We are using dual quad-core Intel Xeon machines with 24GB of memory.

You need sufficient memory to buffer active readers and writers. You can do a back-of-the-envelope estimate of memory needs by assuming you want to be able to buffer for 30 seconds and compute your memory need as write_throughput*30.

The disk throughput is important. We have 8×7200 rpm SATA drives. In general disk throughput is the performance bottleneck, and more disks is better. Depending on how you configure flush behavior you may or may not benefit from more expensive disks (if you force flush often then higher RPM SAS drives may be better).