January 31, 2010

Interesting trends in database and analytic technology

My project for the day is blogging based on my “Database and analytic technology: State of the union” talk of a few days ago. (I called it that because of when it was given, because it mixed prescriptive and descriptive elements, and because I wanted to call attention to the fact that I cover the union of database and analytic technologies – the intersection of those two sectors is an area of particular focus, but is far from the whole of my coverage.)

One section covered recent/ongoing/near-future trends that I thought were particularly interesting, including:

Simpler database technology, by which I mean DBMS that are:

For general purpose or OLTP uses, I’m not a big fan of MySQL (not enough progress in making it industrial-strength), PostgreSQL (no good company behind it – I’m a non-fan of EnterpriseDB), or Ingres (open source or not, it’s an antiquated system that hasn’t been invested in as much as Oracle, DB2 or SQL Server).

But I get the impression there are a lot of contenders among small startups, featuring very new architectures for OLTP or general-purpose database management. VoltDB comes to mind. NimbusDB is finally within range of getting funded. Dan Weinreb told me Friday he knows of a bunch of others as well. And that’s all before we even get into the NoSQL kind of alternative.

Flexible storage architectures. That’s starting out with an emphasis on hybrid columnar, as in the examples of Vertica and Greenplum. Oracle (to whom I’m under no NDA obligation) and other vendors (to whom I am) are going that way as well.

Multi-tier database architectures, by which I mean at least two things:

Netezza is particularly interesting to watch in this regard because it:

Also noteworthy is Petascan, the stealth-mode –and therefore harder to watch right now 🙂 – company I keep teasing about, which makes a strong case for carrying the database/storage tier split into the flash/solid-state memory technology generation. Calpont also has a server/storage tier split, but that’s of mainly theoretical interest unless and until Calpont actually ships an MPP version of InfiniDB.

Cheaper parts, which have of course been a huge trend for decades. Solid-state memory will soon conquer the world. Meanwhile, cheaper sensors drive that machine-generated data I keep talking about.

An ever-better understanding of scale-out technology, in several respects, including:

Cool trends I touched on more briefly include:

One area I flat-out forgot to mention is easy data mart spin-out.

Other posts based on my January, 2010 New England Database Summit keynote address


9 Responses to “Interesting trends in database and analytic technology”

  1. keru on February 1st, 2010 2:37 am

    Awwww … what do you mean by “no good company behind postgresql ?”

    There is *a lot* of good company behind it, not just a single huge good/bad/whatever multinational.

    And, of course, a massive opensource community 🙂

  2. Open issues in database and analytic technology | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on February 1st, 2010 6:12 pm

    […] talk was on open issues in database and analytic technology. This was closely intertwined with the previous section, and also relied on a lot that I’ve posted here. So I’ll just put up a few notes on […]

  3. DR on February 5th, 2010 10:08 am

    Regarding new OLTP architectures, is Akiba one of the new startups you refer to? I have heard of them, but not much info out there about them…

  4. Curt Monash on February 5th, 2010 11:50 am


    Yes. Me too. 🙂

  5. Farid Azis on February 8th, 2010 12:43 pm

    NTT, the largest telco company in japan is using postgreSQL. They have a dedicated development team for applications using postgreSQL. I mean they are a really telco entreprise and using open source dbms, and it works.

  6. Farid Azis on February 8th, 2010 12:44 pm

    NTT, the largest telco company in japan is using postgreSQL. They have a dedicated development team for applications using postgreSQL. I mean they are a really telco enterprise and using open source dbms, and it works.

  7. Curt Monash on February 8th, 2010 2:12 pm


    I’m sure they can do many things in PostgreSQL, and I’m glad they are.

    However, I suspect there are quite a few that they aren’t and can’t.


  8. Data exploration vs. data visualization | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on March 1st, 2010 5:30 am

    […] tended to conflate data exploration and data visualization, and I’m far from alone in doing so. But a recent Economist article is a useful reminder that […]

  9. Aster Data nCluster Version 4.6 | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on September 15th, 2010 3:43 am

    […] has now joined Greenplum/EMC among row-based analytic DBMS vendors with hybrid row-column stores. Oracle will join them some day, and the same probably applies to other row-based vendors as well. Similarly, Aster Data will […]

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