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I've have a python program and 500GB SQL database related to that. My main hard drive is getting too small and therefore I'm looking for an external one. However I do not have much experience with external drives.

To get the maximum performance:

Should I install Python into the external drive? Should I store the Python program into the external drive?

Does it affect on performance if the OS (Windows) is located in main drive - not the drive that stores the Python program and the database?

What should I keep in mind when buing the external drive (probably gonna go with USB3.0/SSD)?

  • "Maximum performance" is something you'll need to define... are you the only user of the database? how many requests per second(ish) are you making? will this database continue to grow? – Aaron Aug 11 '16 at 13:12
  • the install location of python, OS, etc should not matter other than initial loading times (os / python willl boot / load faster from an ssd in general) – Aaron Aug 11 '16 at 13:14
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To get the best performance you want to compare your internal drive and your [future] external drive. If the external drives is faster (e.g. an external SSD connected via eSATA) then move as much as you can to that. I do not expect much to be gained from using application which you only start once, but it will not hurt either. Main gain is likely from moving the DB to the SSD.

Note that I assumed eSATA, which needs no additional drivers and add no latency. But other interfaces will also work, e.g. external drives using Thunderbolt, SAS or USB. If you use USB then make sure you get an external case which supports USB Attached SCSI (UASP).

Lastly, a database usually profits a lot from more memory. Depending on the operations you are doing you might gain more from more memory in the laptop than from faster storage. Please test your database using performance monitoring tools to check if it currently is IO bound, CPU bound or memory bound. If not IO bound you might as well get a cheap 1TB SSD (and keep all internally) and some more memory with the money otherwise spent on an external case.

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