Analysis of technologies that accelerate database management via caching. Related subjects include:

October 11, 2010

Membase simplifies name, goes GA

The company Northscale that makes the product Membase is now the company Membase that makes the product Membase. Good. Also, the product Membase has now gone GA.

I wrote back in August about Membase, and that covers most of what I think, with perhaps a couple of exceptions:  Read more

August 26, 2010

More on NoSQL and HVSP (or OLRP)

Since posting last Wednesday morning that I’m looking into NoSQL and HVSP, I’ve had a lot of conversations, including with (among others):

Read more

March 16, 2010

Memcached-based company NorthScale launches

NorthScale, a start-up based around memcached, has just launched, two weeks after the Todd Hoff’s post arguing the MySQL/memcached combo is passe’. NorthScale wouldn’t necessarily argue with Todd, arguing that what you really should use instead is NorthScale’s combo of memcached and Membase, a memcached-like DBMS …

… or something like that. I don’t intend to write seriously about NorthScale until I have a better idea of what Membase is.

In the mean time,

February 25, 2010

Notes on Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise

It had been a very long time since I was remotely up to speed on Sybase’s main OLTP DBMS, Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE).  Raj Rathee, however, was kind enough to fill me in a few days ago. Highlights of our chat included: Read more

January 22, 2010

Two cornerstones of Oracle’s database hardware strategy

After several months of careful optimization, Oracle managed to pick the most inconvenient* day possible for me to get an Exadata update from Juan Loaiza. But the call itself was long and fascinating, with the two main takeaways being:

And by the way, Oracle doesn’t make its storage-tier software available to run on anything than Oracle-designed boxes.  At the moment, that means Exadata Versions 1 and 2. Since Exadata is by far Oracle’s best DBMS offering (at least in theory), that means Oracle’s best database offering only runs on specific Oracle-sold hardware platforms. Read more

September 21, 2009

Notes on the Oracle Database 11g Release 2 white paper

The Oracle Database 11g Release 2 white paper I cited a couple of weeks ago has evidently been edited, given that a phrase I quoted last month is no longer to be found. Anyhow, here are some quotes from and comments on what evidently is the latest version. Read more

July 29, 2009

What are the best choices for scaling Postgres?

March, 2011 edit: In its quaintness, this post is a reminder of just how fast Short Request Processing DBMS technology has been moving ahead.  If I had to do it all over again, I’d suggest they use one of the high-performance MySQL options like dbShards, Schooner, or both together.  I actually don’t know what they finally decided on in that area. (I do know that for analytic DBMS they chose Vertica.)

I have a client who wants to build a new application with peak update volume of several million transactions per hour.  (Their base business is data mart outsourcing, but now they’re building update-heavy technology as well. ) They have a small budget.  They’ve been a MySQL shop in the past, but would prefer to contract (not eliminate) their use of MySQL rather than expand it.

My client actually signed a deal for EnterpriseDB’s Postgres Plus Advanced Server and GridSQL, but unwound the transaction quickly. (They say EnterpriseDB was very gracious about the reversal.) There seem to have been two main reasons for the flip-flop.  First, it seems that EnterpriseDB’s version of Postgres isn’t up to PostgreSQL’s 8.4 feature set yet, although EnterpriseDB’s timetable for catching up might have tolerable. But GridSQL apparently is further behind yet, with no timetable for up-to-date PostgreSQL compatibility.  That was the dealbreaker.

The current base-case plan is to use generic open source PostgreSQL, with scale-out achieved via hand sharding, Hibernate, or … ??? Experience and thoughts along those lines would be much appreciated.

Another option for OLTP performance and scale-out is of course memory-centric options such as VoltDB or the Groovy SQL Switch.  But this client’s database is terabyte-scale, so hardware costs could be an issue, as of course could be product maturity.

By the way, a large fraction of these updates will be actual changes, as opposed to new records, in case that matters.  I expect that the schema being updated will be very simple — i.e., clearly simpler than in a classic order entry scenario.

April 3, 2009

CSQL: Yet another in-memory DBMS for caching

A few of you care about obscure in-memory DBMS products.  Well, I was just e-mailed about another one, apparently called CSQL or CSQLcache. As of now, CSQL has a SourceForge website, a Wikipedia entry, and a blog.

One interesting thing on that blog is a taxonomy of caches — Level 1 cache, Level 2 cache, RAM, disk, etc., with some approximate figures for lookup times.  Edit: However, Kevin Closson emailed me to say it’s way out of date. Stay tuned to his blog for more on the subject.

June 6, 2008

Open source in-memory DBMS

I’ve gotten email about two different open source in-memory DBMS products/projects. I don’t know much about either, but in case you care, here are some pointers to more info.

First, the McObject guys — who also sell a relational in-memory product — have an object-oriented, apparently Java-centric product called Perst. They’ve sent over various press releases about same, the details of which didn’t make much of an impression on me. (Upon review, I see that one of the main improvements they cite in Perst 3.0 is that they added 38 pages of documentation.)

Second, I just got email about something called CSQL Cache. You can read more about CSQL Cache here, if you’re willing to navigate some fractured English. CSQL’s SourceForge page is here. My impression is that CSQL Cache is an in-memory DBMS focused on, you guessed it, caching. It definitely seems to talk SQL, but possibly its native data model is of some other kind (there are references both to “file-based” and “network”.)

April 24, 2008

Optimizing WordPress database usage

There’s an amazingly long comment thread on Coding Horror about WordPress optimization. Key points and debates include:

Another theme is — well, it’s WordPress “theme” design. Do you really need all those calls? The most dramatic example I can think of one I experienced soon after I started this blog. Some themes have the cool feature that, in the category list on the sidebar, there’s a count of the number of posts in the category. Each category. I love that feature, but its performance consequences are not pretty.

As previously noted, we’ll be doing an emergency site upgrade ASAP. Once we’re upgraded to WordPress 2.5, I hope to deploy a rich set of back-end plug-ins. One of the caching ones will be among them.

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