It turns out that that test I ran yesterday that showed that Linode was even slower in mysql than it was in Postgres? Well, it turns out that I’d left the “;host=mysqldb.gradwell.net” in the connect string, so instead of hitting my local mysql database, I was actually going across the Atlantic Ocean to hit a database at Gradwell. D’OH!
I switched to using the local database, and the time came down to a slightly more acceptable 7+ minutes, but I was still I/O rate limited much of the time. Then I switched to using another guy’s database on his Linode (much better provisioned than mine) and the time went down to about 3+ minutes, and I never hit my I/O limit even once. (Which makes me think that multiple generators running at the same time won’t slow to a crawl.)