Scaling XML using a Beowulf cluster

John J. Chelsom

Seven Informatics Ltd.

Jay H. Chelsom

Abingdon School

Copyright ©2018 by the authors. Used with permission.

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Scaling XML using a Beowulf cluster

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2018
July 31 - August 3, 2018


We describe a series of experiments which test the performance and scalability of an XML records system deployed on a Beowulf cluster of open source XML databases. Using the open source cityEHR health records system as an example, we first ran experiments to determine the feasibility and optimal size of database instances running on Raspberry Pi and low-cost Intel computers. We describe the implementation of a Data Access Layer for create, read, query and delete operations, using XForms submissions, which encapsulates all database access. We then present the results of testing the scalability and performance of this implementation on clusters of one to sixteen physical database nodes. We conclude that Beowulf clustering provides an effective and cost-efficient mechanism for scaling XML records systems.