Analysis of products and issues in database clustering. Relates subjects include:

February 6, 2013

Key questions when selecting an analytic RDBMS

I recently complained that the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse DBMS conflates many use cases into one set of rankings. So perhaps now would be a good time to offer some thoughts on how to tell use cases apart. Assuming you know that you really want to manage your analytic database with a relational DBMS, the first questions you ask yourself could be:

Let’s drill down. Read more

January 16, 2013

NuoDB marketing mishegas

I must start by apologizing for giving a quote in a press release whose contents I deplore. Unlike occasions on which I’ve posted about inaccurate quotes, in this case the fault is mine. The quote is quite accurate. And NuoDB didn’t mislead me about the release’s contents; I just neglected to ask.

NuoDB evidently subscribes to the marketing fallacy:

But to my taste, NuoDB’s worst travesty is not the deafening drumroll before launch (I asked off their mailing list months before), nor the claim that NuoDB’s launch would be a “big day” for the database industry (annoying but ordinary hype), nor the emergent flock of birds foofarah, nor even NuoDB’s overwrought benchmark marketing (distressingly many vendors do that).

Rather, I think NuoDB’s greatest marketing offense to date is its Codd-imitating “12 rules” for cloud database management. Read more

January 12, 2013

Introduction to NuoDB

NuoDB has an interesting NewSQL story. NuoDB’s core design goals seem to be:

Read more

January 7, 2013

Introduction to GenieDB

GenieDB is one of the newer and smaller NewSQL companies. GenieDB’s story is focused on wide-area replication and uptime, coupled to claims about ease and the associated low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

GenieDB is in my same family of clients as Cirro.

The GenieDB product is more interesting if we conflate the existing GenieDB Version 1 and a soon-forthcoming (mid-year or so) Version 2. On that basis:

The heart of the GenieDB story is probably wide-area replication. Specifics there include:  Read more

January 5, 2013

NewSQL thoughts

I plan to write about several NewSQL vendors soon, but first here’s an overview post. Like “NoSQL”, the term “NewSQL” has an identifiable, recent coiner — Matt Aslett in 2011 — yet a somewhat fluid meaning. Wikipedia suggests that NewSQL comprises three things:

I think that’s a pretty good working definition, and will likely remain one unless or until:

To date, NewSQL adoption has been limited.

That said, the problem may lie more on the supply side than in demand. Developing a competitive SQL DBMS turns out to be harder than developing something in the NoSQL state of the art.

Read more

January 5, 2013

Data(base) virtualization — a terminological mess

Data/database virtualization seems to be a hot subject right now, and vendors of a broad variety of different technologies are all claiming to be in the space. A terminological mess has ensued, as Monash’s First and Third Laws of Commercial Semantics are borne out in spades.

If something is like “virtualization”, then it should resemble hypervisors such as VMware. To me:

Anything that claims to be “like virtualization” should be viewed in that light. Read more

November 19, 2012

Couchbase 2.0

My clients at Couchbase checked in.

The big changes in Couchbase 2.0 versus the previous (1.8.x) version are:

Couchbase 2.0 is upwards-compatible with prior versions of Couchbase (and hence with Memcached), but not with CouchDB.

Technology notes on Couchbase 2.0 include: Read more

September 21, 2012

Database challenges in multi-tenancy support

I predicted 2 months ago that Oracle 12c would have some kind of improved support for multi-tenancy; Larry Ellison confirmed on this week’s earnings call that it will. So maybe it’s time to think about what such support could or should mean. I’m actually still on vacation, so I’d like to keep this short, but here are a few notes.

September 7, 2012

Integrated internet system design

What are the central challenges in internet system design? We probably all have similar lists, comprising issues such as scale, scale-out, throughput, availability, security, programming ease, UI, or general cost-effectiveness. Screw those up, and you don’t have an internet business.

Much new technology addresses those challenges, with considerable success. But the success is usually one silo at a time — a short-request application here, an analytic database there. When it comes to integration, unsolved problems abound.

The top integration and integration-like challenges for me, from a practical standpoint, are:

Other concerns that get mentioned include:

Let’s skip those latter issues for now, focusing instead on the first four.

Read more

September 2, 2012

Uninterrupted DBMS operation — an almost-achievable goal

I’m hearing more and more stories about uninterrupted DBMS operation. There are no iron-clad assurances of zero downtime; if nothing else, you could crash your whole system yourself via some kind of application bug. Even so, it’s a worthy ideal, and near-zero downtime is a practical goal.

Uninterrupted database operations can have a lot of different aspects. The two most basic are probably:

These work with single-server or scale-out systems alike. However, scale-out and the replication commonly associated with it raise additional issues in continuous database operation:

Finally, if you really care about uninterrupted operation, you might also want to examine:

Let’s discuss some of those points below.

Read more

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