Planned Obsolescence… in 8000 Years

  2006-03-22


I made a simple little real time data reporting system live today which dumps a row into a MySQL database once a minute. I didn’t include any archiving or purging functionality, so I decided to do some quick calculations to see how long this system could run before running into constraints.

The table uses an unsigned 32-bit integer surrogate key, so in about 8171 years I’ll run out of unique sequential IDs.

The tables uses about 200 bytes/row, so in 8000 years I’ll need almost 800 GBs of storage.

The current partition the database is stored on only has 21 GB of free space, so it looks like I’ll run out of storage space in a mere 200 years.

Of course, the server in question is a Dell, so it will most likely die from hardware failure in a year or two anyway. So much for 8000 years of maintenance free bliss.