Some subjects just keep coming up. And so I keep saying things like:
Most generalizations about “Big Data” are false. “Big Data” is a horrific catch-all term, with many different meanings.
Most generalizations about Hadoop are false. Reasons include:
- Hadoop is a collection of disparate things, most particularly data storage and application execution systems.
- The transition from Hadoop 1 to Hadoop 2 will be drastic.
- For key aspects of Hadoop — especially file format and execution engine — there are or will be widely varied options.
Hadoop won’t soon replace relational data warehouses, if indeed it ever does. SQL-on-Hadoop is still very immature. And you can’t replace data warehouses unless you have the power of SQL.
Note: SQL isn’t the only way to provide “the power of SQL”, but alternative approaches are just as immature.
Most generalizations about NoSQL are false. Different NoSQL products are … different. It’s not even accurate to say that all NoSQL systems lack SQL interfaces. (For example, SQL-on-Hadoop often includes SQL-on-HBase.)
A few days ago I posted Daniel Abadi’s thoughts in a discussion of Hadapt, Microsoft PDW (Parallel Data Warehouse)/PolyBase, Pivotal/Greenplum Hawq, and other SQL-Hadoop combinations. This is Dave DeWitt’s response. Emphasis mine.
|Categories: Benchmarks and POCs, Cloudera, Clustering, Data warehousing, Greenplum, Hadapt, Hadoop, MapReduce, Microsoft and SQL*Server, PostgreSQL||5 Comments|
Hmm. I probably should have broken this out as three posts rather than one after all. Sorry about that.
Discussions of DBMS performance are always odd, for starters because:
- Workloads and use cases vary greatly.
- In particular, benchmarks such as the YCSB or TPC-H aren’t very helpful.
- It’s common for databases or at least working sets to be entirely in RAM — but it’s not always required.
- Consistency and durability models vary. What’s more, in some systems — e.g. MongoDB — there’s considerable flexibility as to which model you use.
- In particular, there’s an increasingly common choice in which data is written synchronously to RAM on 2 or more servers, then asynchronously to disk on each of them. Performance in these cases can be quite different from when all writes need to be committed to disk. Of course, you need sufficient disk I/O to keep up, so SSDs (Solid-State Drives) can come in handy.
- Many workloads are inherently single node (replication aside). Others are not.
MongoDB and 10gen
I caught up with Ron Avnur at 10gen. Technical highlights included: Read more
Two different vendors recently tried to inflict benchmarks on me. Both were YCSBs, so I decided to look up what the YCSB (Yahoo! Cloud Serving Benchmark) actually is. It turns out that the YCSB:
- Was developed by — you guessed it! — Yahoo.
- Is meant to simulate workloads that fetch web pages, including the writing portions of those workloads.
- Was developed with NoSQL data managers in mind.
- Bakes in one kind of sensitivity analysis — latency vs. throughput.
- Is implemented in extensible open source code.
That actually sounds pretty good, especially the extensibility part;* it’s likely that the YCSB can be useful in a variety of product selection scenarios. Still, as recent examples show, benchmark marketing is an annoying blight upon the database industry.
*With extensibility you can test your own workloads and do your own sensitivity analyses.
This is part of a four-post series, covering:
- Annoying Hadoop marketing themes that should be ignored.
- Hadoop versions and distributions, and their readiness or lack thereof for production.
- In general, how “enterprise-ready” is Hadoop?
- HBase 0.92 (this post)
As part of my recent round of Hadoop research, I talked with Cloudera’s Todd Lipcon. Naturally, one of the subjects was HBase, and specifically HBase 0.92. I gather that the major themes to HBase 0.92 are:
- Performance, scalability, and so on.
- “Coprocessors”, which are like triggers or stored procedures.
- Security, as the first major application of co-processors.
HBase coprocessors are Java code that links straight into HBase. As with other DBMS extensions of the “links straight into the DBMS code” kind,* HBase coprocessors seem best suited for very sophisticated users and third parties.** Evidently, coprocessors have already been used to make HBase security more granular — role-based, per-column-family/per-table, etc. Further, Todd thinks coprocessors could serve as a good basis for future HBase enhancements in areas such as aggregation or secondary indexing. Read more
|Categories: Benchmarks and POCs, Cloudera, Hadoop, HBase, MapReduce, NoSQL, Open source, Storage, Theory and architecture||2 Comments|
I last wrote about Exasol in 2008. After talking with the team Friday, I’m fixing that now. The general theme was as you’d expect: Since last we talked, Exasol has added some new management, put some effort into sales and marketing, got some customers, kept enhancing the product and so on.
Top-level points included:
- Exasol’s technical philosophy is substantially the same as before, albeit not with as extreme a focus on fitting everything in RAM.
- Exasol believes its flagship DBMS EXASolution has great performance on a load-and-go basis.
- Exasol has 25 EXASolution customers, all in Germany.*
- 5 of those are “cloud” customers, at hosting providers engaged by Exasol.
- EXASolution database sizes now range from the low 100s of gigabytes up to 30 terabytes.
- Pretty much the whole company is in Nuremberg.
|Categories: Benchmarks and POCs, Columnar database management, Data warehousing, Database compression, Exasol, Market share and customer counts, Pricing, Software as a Service (SaaS), Specific users, Sybase, Workload management||1 Comment|
Analytic data management technology has blossomed, leading to many questions along the lines of “So which products should I use for which category of problem?” The old EDW/data mart dichotomy is hopelessly outdated for that purpose, and adding a third category for “big data” is little help.
Let’s try eight categories instead. While no categorization is ever perfect, these each have at least some degree of technical homogeneity. Figuring out which types of analytic database you have or need — and in most cases you’ll need several — is a great early step in your analytic technology planning. Read more
I’ve blogged separately that:
- Vertica has a bunch of customers, including seven with 1 or more petabytes of data each.
- Vertica has progressed down the analytic platform path, with Monday’s release of Vertica 5.0.
And of course you know:
- Vertica (the product) is columnar, MPP, and fast.*
- Vertica (the company) was recently acquired by HP.**
|Categories: Benchmarks and POCs, Columnar database management, ParAccel, Parallelization, Vertica Systems||3 Comments|
Edit: Comments on the February, 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — and on the companies reviewed in it — are now up.
The Gartner 2010 Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant is out. I shall now comment, just as I did to varying degrees on the 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrants.
Note: Links to Gartner Magic Quadrants tend to be unstable. Please alert me if any problems arise; I’ll edit accordingly.
In my comments on the 2008 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant, I observed that Gartner’s “completeness of vision” scores were generally pretty reasonable, but their “ability to execute” rankings were somewhat bizarre; the same remains true this year. For example, Gartner ranks Ingres higher by that metric than Vertica, Aster Data, ParAccel, or Infobright. Yet each of those companies is growing nicely and delivering products that meet serious cutting-edge analytic DBMS needs, neither of which has been true of Ingres since about 1987. Read more
It’s been a while since I penetrated Oracle’s tight message control and actually talked with them about Exadata. But Doug Henschen wrote a good article about Exadata based on an Andy Mendelsohn webcast. I agree with almost all of it. At first I was a little surprised that Exadata’s emphasis shift from data warehousing to OLTP/generic consolidation hasn’t gone more quickly, but on the other hand:
- On the data warehouse side Exadata can alleviate screaming pain points.
- In OLTP consolidation, Exadata mainly can save money. (Yes, I just said a product from Oracle can save customers money, and I meant it. You may stop laughing at any time.)
Doug did overstate when he said that columnar architectures give 100X or more compression. That doesn’t happen. Yes, columnar compression can be >10X in a variety of use cases, while pre-Exadata Oracle index bloat can approach 10X at times; but even if you’re counting that way I doubt there are many instances in which it actually multiplies out to >100.
In other Exadata news, the long-standing observation that Oracle doesn’t like to do on-site Exadata POCs still holds true. A couple of existing Oracle users — one rather well-known — recently told me that Oracle won’t let them text Exadata except on Oracle premises. In one case, this is a deal-breaker keeping Exadata from being considered for a purchase, and Oracle still won’t budge.
Finally, I’m pretty sure that this “new” Softbank Teradata replacement Oracle has been touting since September as competitive evidence — which Doug’s article also references — isn’t quite what it sounds like. I believe Teradata’s version of the story, which somewhat edited goes like this: Read more
|Categories: Benchmarks and POCs, Columnar database management, Data warehouse appliances, Database compression, Exadata, Oracle, Teradata||26 Comments|