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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Progress on Plone 4.0 & Python Programming & the Postdam Institute

I had set myself the task of learning Python programming so I could better understand the Plone content management system, but I have not progressed that much. I installed Plone 4.0 on my Ubuntu machine and things are going well, but I have not given much time to it.  I did learn something about Plone 4.0 that fascinated me - the website for the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. This website had a database that was over 16 gigabytes of data and files. Now that is astronomically larger than anything I have used. It make me think of the MyOscar Personal Health Record, parts of which was programmed using Plone. Being able to handle databases with that "memory footprint" is beautiful.  I'll just paste in here some of the data about the Plone 4.0 capacity to handle large databases:

Real-world numbers

But enough talk, how does this actually affect your site in real life? Let's take a look at a recent, real-world example from a large Plone site:
Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research had a 16.5 GB database containing documents and other media:
  • Upgrading the entire site to the new, filesystem-based storage: 51 minutes.
  • Plone database size: reduced from 16.5 GB to 3.0 GB.
  • Memory footprint on the heavily cached server:  reduced from 10 GB to 3 GB.
  • Load on the site while in heavy use: reduced to 10-20% of the previous CPU usage, with no intermittent massive spikes, as had been the case with Plone 3.
  • File transfers were faster, with no discernable increase in memory usage while large documents were being downloaded.
Plone 4's new large files implementation has been field tested on large production installations during the beta process, and we're confident you'll find that Plone 4 delivers massive performance and resource usage improvements on sites with multi-gigabyte data stores.