Suitability of microprocessor development boards for hosting small-scale database management systems
Fokker, Adriaan Cornelis
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A microprocessor development board (MPDB) is a less expensive alternative to commodity personal computers (PCs) and can be used for the same purposes − to a certain extent. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the possibility of using a MPDB instead of a commodity PC to host a small-scale database management system (DBMS). Extensive research is conducted on literature relating to the study in terms of research methodologies, databases, DBMSs and processors. This study is positioned in the positivist research paradigm and makes use of a quantitative research design with hypothesis testing. By assessing the database and DBMS literature, a specific DBMS is chosen based on performance and compatibility with all devices and used with all devices in the study. An experiment is designed to load test the MPDBs and commodity PC chosen for this study. Load is applied according to the load test design on each device by executing DBMS queries from multiple DBMS clients simultaneously. The DBMS clients are simulated from a separate personal computer with an application developed by the researcher namely, Multi-Client Simulator (MCS). Predefined metrics are captured through MCS during the experiment and stored as raw data in log files. The log file data are imported into a data warehouse to enable data drilldown and scaling for data analysis. The data analysis is performed by extracting structured experiment data from the data warehouse and the use of statistical analysis software. The statistical analysis includes analysis of variance and allows for accurate comparisons between the performance of MPDBs and that of a commodity PC. The descriptive statistics and analysis of variance results are used to perform statistical analysis and hypothesis testing in order to address the primary objective of the study. The results show that MPDBs are capable of hosting a DBMS similar to a commodity PC to a certain extent. Finally, the study is communicated by describing the research findings, summarising the experiment results and exploring possible future research. Recommendations are provided by considering the results of the study and the price difference between the tested MPDBs and a commodity PC.