Is CRX 1.4.2 production ready?

The contentbus technology was the standard storage backend till the CQ 4.x-series Although file-based storage wasn’t the great deal even in the late 1990s (mysql was already invented, postgres existed plus at least half a dozen enterprise database systems), Day choose to store the content objects in individual files, hidden by a abstraction layer. Of course it took some time of tuning and making experiences, but the contentbus proved to be a reliable storage which had the big point, that with an editor on the filesystem you can solve nearly all problems (we used more than once sed to fix our default.map)

But some points were still open:

  • Online backup isn’t possible. The documentation simply states: “Shutdown the CQ, copy your files, and startup again”. Although you can speed up the copy, if you replace with it with a snapshot on filesystem layer, but this need to restart doesn’t make it enterprise-ready. (Databases offer online-backup since at least a decade).
  • Contentbus requires a lot of filesystem I/O (mainly the system calls open and close). Having a lot of these operations slows down the processing. A small number of larger files would reduce this administrative overhead in the filesystem.
  • Memory usage of contentbus artifacts: Some artifacts like the default.map and zombie.map have in-memory data-structures, which grow as the underlying files grow (or vice-versa). The more content you have the more memory is used. Even if only a small part of this content is in active use. This doesn’t scale well.
  • The contentbus offers cluster support, but only with 2 nodes; with more nodes the overall performance will even degrade! According to the cluster documentation for CRX 1.4, Day tested CRX in a clustered setup with 6 nodes. If the performance loss is acceptable (that means,  6 nodes offer more performance than 5 nodes), this would be a real good solution to scale your authoring systems.

So we decided that’s time to evaluate if CRX would be at least as good as the contentbus. The TAR persistence manager adresses mainly the backup issue, we hope that we get some performance improvements as well.

So currently I’m doing a test setup of CQ 4.2.0 and CRX 1.4.2, for which Day offered (just in time :-)) a knowledge base article.

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