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Database vs File System Essay

My primary concern is availability, integrity, quality and easy accessibility of information resources. A customised file system provides hierarchical storage and organization of files mostly on a single computer and it is usually part of the operating system of the computer the files are stored. File system stores bytes on a computer and the structure is imposed by the creator of the file. For a database system the records can be arrange logically and organized for efficient and easy access. In view of the above reasons I prefer a Database system than a customized file system.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Transaction support

Database systems guaranteed atomic transactions which determine the failure or success of an operation and concurrent access to the same set of data. Most file systems lack this feature.

Fast Indexing Database systems have ability to retrieve data quickly based on indexing of attributes and data property. The functionality cannot be found in files system. For example a files system cannot separately retrieve files created at a particular time. Desktop application such as Google desktop that searches files still requires indexing the complete file system and storing them in an internal relational-database before it can provide result.

Snapshots A database snapshot provides a read-only, static view of a source database as it existed at snapshot creation, minus any uncommitted transactions. Uncommitted transactions are rolled back in a newly created database snapshot because the Database Engine runs recovery after the snapshot has been created (transactions in the database are not affected). The features are essential in backup applications where copies of data are needed at a point in time. Most file-systems except VxFS and ZFS do not have features. In a files system backup operation depend running application or underlying storage for snapshots.

Clustering File systems do not support clustering. Clustering in database systems allows synchronous replication between two or possibly more systems with an added functionality of fault tolerance .Replication defines the method by which a set of servers remain synchronized without having to share the storage. This helps the databases scale up and support larger & more-fault tolerant production environments.

Relational View of Data Files and other objects in file System stores stream of bytes and have little or no information about the data stored in the files. The file system provide only as single way of organizing files in directories and according to file names. The relationship between the data cannot be managed by the attributes such as type, size, author, creation time etc. the attributes do not have any relationship. Databases provide an efficient relationship between the attributes of stored date. It provides flexible means of querying and retrieving data using query language (SQL).


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