[erlang-questions] Mnesia

Vance Shipley <>
Wed Oct 14 11:29:53 CEST 2015

On Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 2:16 PM, Richard Carlsson
<> wrote:
> The simple view of Mnesia is that it's a transaction layer on top of ETS tables, with some varying forms of backing storage.

I am careful not to use the term "database" when referring to mnesia
as it leads to unfair comparisons and unreasonable expectations.  I
use terms such as "distributed tables" or "data store".  It's a more
low level tool than what most people think of as a "database".

In training I describe a progression in scale out like this:

     single process - store data in StateData (i.e. gb_trees)
     multiple processes, single node - store data in ets tables
     multiple processes, multiple nodes - store data in mnesia

... and that's before we talk about persistence or transactions.


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