March 26, 2012

CodeFutures/dbShards update

I’ve been talking a fair bit with Cory Isaacson, CEO of my client CodeFutures, which makes dbShards. Business notes include:

Apparently, the figure of 6 dbShards customers in July, 2010 is more comparable to today’s 20ish contracts than to today’s 7-8 production users. About 4 of the original 6 are in production now.

NDA stuff aside, the main technical subject we talked about is something Cory calls “relational sharding”. The point is that dbShards’ transparent sharding can be done in such a way as to make many joins be single-server. Specifically:

dbShards can’t do cross-shard joins, but it can do distributed transactions comprising multiple updates. Cory argues persuasively that in almost all cases this is enough; but I see cross-shard joins as a feature that should someday be added to dbShards even so.

The real issue with dbShards’ transparent sharding is ensuring it’s really transparent. Cory regards as typical a customer with a couple thousand tables, who had to change a dozen or so SQL statements to implement dbShards. But there are near-term plans to automate the number of SQL changes needed down to 0. The essence of that change is this:

Problems that the shard index will solve include:

While the implementation details are surely in most cases different, philosophically this is a lot like the issues Akiban’s architecture also deals with.

Some specific feature points are:

Cory also took the opportunity to call out an advantage of the dbShards replication scheme, whose basic story has always been “it’s fast while also being pretty reliable”. Specifically — and this has evidently been tested by a user with 16 nodes plus 16 hot spares/secondary copies — you can:


One Response to “CodeFutures/dbShards update”

  1. NewSQL thoughts | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on January 5th, 2013 4:18 pm

    […] vendors I’ve written about in the past include Akiban, Tokutek, CodeFutures (dbShards), Clustrix, Schooner (Membrain), VoltDB, ScaleBase, and ScaleDB, with GenieDB and NuoDB […]

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