Barry Zane of ParAccel has — finally! — started a blog. Barrry’s first post, probably in connection with ParAccel’s recent TPC-H submission and subsequent brouhaha, consisted mainly of metaphor + very elementary and well-known arguments for column stores. Barry’s second post, however, was in direct response to Daniel Abadi’s speculation about ParAccel’s architecture. That post also promises a follow-up addressing the TPC-H in a more substantive way.
(Edit: As of October, 2010, those links have been redirected away from the original posts, which seem to have been taken down.)
Barry’s points include:
- ParAccel never used the row-oriented Postgres execution engine. This is contrary to Daniel’s speculation.
- ParAccel previously used an adaption of the Postgres cost-based optimizer, but now has written a new one from scratch.
- ParAccel has designed its optimizer to handle lots and lots of joins. One reason Barry offers is that ParAccel wants to run customers’ old schemas unaltered, whether or not those are really optimal for the ParAccel DBMS. That approach is somewhat in contrast to Vertica, which originally focused entirely on star schemas. And it goes well with ParAccel’s interest in appealing to customers who at least think they want to run ParAccel in Oracle or SQL Server emulation mode.
Also in the post, Barry:
- Makes an extremely silly marketing exaggeration by referring to ” the only other vendor that was able to run the 30TB TPC-H” (emphasis mine).
- Makes the more excusable marketing exaggeration “Publishing the benchmark with unmatched performance is simply one way to demonstrate robustness and flexibility. Nothing more, nothing less.”
- Makes the very clear marketing claim “For customers, the real test will be their own bake-offs, where our performance has never been beaten.” (Emphasis mine.) That last one directly contradicts what I’ve been told by at least two ParAccel competitors, so I’ll be curious to see what they come up with to substantiate their version of the story.
Anyhow, it’s great to see ParAccel retreating from its obsessive secrecy, which in my opinion has been even worse than Netezza’s used to be.