Skip to content
May 5 / Greg

Large Scale Database Distribution

I was running the other day when my brain stumbled in an interesting direction. I was thinking about how the government houses vast amounts of information about us. Each person has to have several thousands of lines of information in databases somewhere. I was thinking how one could efficiently query this information in a manageable amount of time. You could have a huge set of storage with a monster front end system, or perhaps there would be an alternative. I then thought of how DNS works.

If you are looking for a .com, you hit the root servers, and work your way down to the relevant server that holds the information. If you are looking for a .org, you head in a different direction. Why not use this same system for massive databases?

You could store the person’s name in the “root” database server. If you need tax information, you are directed to the “.tax” server. If you need their arrest record, you head to the “.cops” server. I know you could just write nested queries or the like, but what if the back-end DB system was designed and built to do all of this for you? You wouldn’t have thousands of programmers cranking away for hours every time they wanted to develop a system like this, it would already work like this, and you could just query the system. I suppose you could just create views that did all of the joins and such for you…eh.

I figure there is something already like this, or perhaps my logic is flawed…I didn’t put too much thought into it, it just seemed like an interesting concept.

What does the peanut gallery have to say about it?


leave a comment
  1. Tom Waterloo / May 5 2009

    I just moved a non for profit’s email over to Google aps for Education. In the process, I changed domain name servers by updating the registrar server, which you call the root server.

    It was the first time I have worked with the registrar server and dns and was amazed at how easy it was. I was also surprised to learn that registrar and dns were not one and the same. But it makes a lot of sense.

    You have a great idea. How does it go? Copying is the greatest form of flattery?

  2. Greg / May 5 2009


    First I have to ask why you were up at 5 AM posting to my blog…insanity…or perhaps a different time zone…heh.

    Yes sir Tom, the registrar only squats your domain name for you. DNS is what actually does the work. I’ve not used Google Aps for educational, but I have used unleaded Google Aps…and I really like it! It just works, really.

    Ahhhh DNS. It is a terrifically simply idea that can be applied to many things. I’m just not the guy to figure out how. I’ve been working with DNS for a while now. I started with Win2K servers and have since moved to BIND9 on CentOS. I personally use Webmin to administer our BIND instillation.


  3. Holden / May 5 2009

    Interesting idea- will def ponder this one later in the day!

    With regards to copying ideas and not being the one to figure it out- reminds me of a George Carlin skit about the flame thrower. His quote was “The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” Its usually the guy who overhears a good idea who invents it!

  4. Greg / May 5 2009


    First, I love the Carlin reference…heh. Second, I can’t help it if I am a muse…inspiration to all. hehehe. Good times. I am totally cool with you making a million off of it as long as you name it after me. The Sowell System…SoSys…I dunno…super bad mutha system…whatever.


Leave a Comment