I made a few remarks about Sybase IQ 15.3 when it became generally available in July. Now that I’ve had a current briefing, I’ll make a few more.
The key enhancement in Sybase IQ 15.3 is distributed query — what others might call parallel query — aka PlexQ. A Sybase IQ query can now be distributed among many nodes, all talking to the same SAN (Storage-Area Network). Any Sybase IQ node can take the responsibility of being the “leader” for that particular query.
In itself, this isn’t that impressive; all the same things could have been said about pre-Exadata Oracle.* But PlexQ goes somewhat further than just removing a bottleneck from Sybase IQ. Notably, Sybase has rolled out a virtual data mart capability. Highlights of the Sybase IQ virtual data mart story include:
- A virtual data mart takes minutes for a DBA to set up.
- A virtual data mart has a number of “logical” servers and disk volumes.
- A virtual data mart can include data from the core Sybase IQ database, plus additional data that might not have passed data warehouse bureaucratic muster. (Perhaps even more than Teradata, Sybase sees this as being the primary virtual data mart use case.)
- Sybase IQ virtual data marts seem to be the mechanism for certain aspects of workload management. For example, they seem to be the only way to extend workload management to Sybase IQ’s in-database analytics.
*Of course, as a robust columnar DBMS, Sybase IQ lacks the fatal data warehousing drawbacks of pre-Exadata Oracle: I/O limitations, and the unnatural acts of database administration they induce.
Sybase is also proud of the elasticity of its new architecture, but seems no more able than I to come up with a use case in which anybody would much care.