July 28, 2012

Some Vertica 6 features

Vertica 6 was recently announced, and so it seemed like a good time to catch up on Vertica features. The main topics I want to address are:


In general, the main themes of Vertica 6 appear to be:

Let’s do the analytic functionality first. Notes on that include:

I’ll also take this opportunity to expand on something I wrote about a few vendors — including Vertica — at the end of my post on approximate query results. When I probed how customers of Vertica and other RDBMS-based analytic platform vendors used vendor-proprietary advanced analytic SQL and other analytic capabilities, answers included:

Tighter business intelligence tool integrations are “under development”.

Vertica’s external tables capability sounds a lot like what other vendors have. In particular, it sounds a lot like Teradata Aster’s SQL-H, only without the HCatalog integration and with a different set of analytic functionality. The pitch is similar too — leave the data where it is when you’re analyzing it more experimentally, but if you want real performance, bring it into the RDBMS.

Datameer has a similar story almost in reverse — take the data out of an RDBMS into less performant Hadoop for easier analysis.

As is the case for other RDBMS with similar features, what Vertica’s external tables capability may be used for the most is Hadoop connectivity. Indeed, Vertica has a new Hadoop connector in beta, based on external tables. Technical notes on that include:

Ever more RDBMS vendors, for example Clustrix, allow schema changes without taking the database down. So does Vertica. Notes on that include:

As for Vertica 6 workload management, core concepts include:

There also are further manual or automatic reprioritizations. And of course runaway queries eventually get shut down.

I’m finding it surprisingly hard to pin down what things Vertica’s workload management actually manages, because:

*There is also a hard throttle, ala DB2 or Netezza, for cases when customers don’t want the best performance, so as to better manage user expectations. But I don’t think it’s been as important in Vertica’s customer base as it has been for the other products.

That said, the story is approximately that you can configure a query pool according to:

Unfortunately, I neglected to ask how fully user-defined analytic procedures were integrated under Vertica’s workload management umbrella.

And finally, I’ll close with notes on two more Vertica features.


2 Responses to “Some Vertica 6 features”

  1. Marcin K on September 12th, 2012 12:53 pm

    about variable length columns: do you know how Vertica stores such attributes? How it is done by other vendors? Do you think they use some mark to seperate next values or kind of offset table per each block?


  2. Jeff on December 31st, 2014 4:31 pm

    Hey Curt,

    You state that “Vertica tables can have an effectively unlimited number of columns”. However, the Vertica documentation [1] states that “Each table can have a maximum 1600 columns.”.


    [1] http://my.vertica.com/docs/7.1.x/HTML/index.htm#Authoring/AdministratorsGuide/Tables/CreatingBaseTables.htm%3FTocPath%3DAdministrator's%20Guide%7CManaging%20Tables%7C_____2

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