The evolution of database storage devices
The evolution of database storage devices has been an essential factor of software development and it makes possible the new features and entire industries. Thanks to growing capacity and higher access speed. For example, from the early versions of PostgreSQL in the early 90th to the modern PostgreSQL 14, the storage devices have undergone significant changes in their capacity, speed, and overall efficiency. Here we will make a retrospective review of the evolution of database storage devices from the early PostgreSQL versions to the modern PostgreSQL 14, and compare the IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) of modern storage devices with early technologies.
The early versions of PostgreSQL in 1996 run on magnetic disks as the primary storage device. These disks provided limited capacity, slow read/write speeds, and were prone to data corruption. The storage capacity of these disks was measured in range from tens of megabytes to 1 gigabyte, which was far from modern cell memory capacity. Additionally, the performance was sub-10MB, which was not adequate for high-performance database applications.
As the demand for high-performance databases grew, the storage devices evolved to meet these requirements. In the mid-range public versions of PostgreSQL, SCSI and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) disks were introduced. These disks provided higher storage capacity and faster read/write speeds than magnetic disks. The read/write speeds of SCSI and SAS disks were around 100-150 IOPS, which was a significant improvement over magnetic disks.
Today, at the moment of the modern version of PostgreSQL, the storage devices have evolved even more, with the introduction of solid-state drives (SSDs) and NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) drives. SSDs use flash memory to store data, which provides faster read/write speeds and higher IOPS compared to traditional magnetic and SCSI/SAS disks. NVMe drives use PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) technology to connect to the server, which provides even faster read/write speeds than SSDs.
The IOPS of modern storage devices range from a few hundred to several thousand IOPS, depending on the specific device and configuration. For example, a modern NVMe drive can provide over 1 million IOPS, while an SSD can provide several hundred thousand IOPS. This speed and efficiency of modern storage devices have enhanced the performance and scalability of modern database systems like PostgreSQL.
Comparison of Early Technologies and Modern Storage Devices
When comparing the IOPS of early technologies and modern storage devices, the difference is pretty notable. As mentioned earlier, magnetic disks had a read/write speed of around 10-15 IOPS, while modern NVMe drives can provide over 1 million IOPS. The increased IOPS of modern storage devices have led to faster data retrieval and storage, which has pushed forward the performance and scalability of modern database systems like PostgreSQL.
Summing up, the evolution of database storage devices from the early versions of PostgreSQL to the modern PostgreSQL 14 has been truly remarkable. With the introduction of faster and more efficient storage devices like SSDs and NVMe drives, modern database systems made a huge step in terms of performance and scalability. Compared to earlier technologies, modern storage devices have IOPS that can range from a few hundred to several thousand. The continuous evolution of storage devices will undoubtedly further enhance the performance and scalability of modern database systems in the future.