Mid-range

Analysis of database management systems optimized for general-purpose or transactional use, but not the most demanding high-end transactional applications. Related subjects include:

April 10, 2008

Supporting evidence for the DBMS disruption story

As previously announced, I did a webcast this afternoon, discussing database diversity. The title of the talk was taken directly from a post – What leading DBMS vendors don’t want you to realize — that argued mid-range DBMS are suitable for a broad variety of tasks. The overriding theme was a Clayton Christensen-style “disruption” narrative.

The sponsor was EnterpriseDB, which is fitting. While not the biggest DBMS industry disrupter in terms of revenue or visible impact (MySQL and Netezza say “Hi”), the Postgres family in general and EnterpriseDB in particular epitomize the disruption threat like nobody else, because of how broadly they substitute for market-leading database managers.

As I promised on the call, below is a post with links to further research backing up the points made. They’re numbered to match some of the presentation slides, which you can find at this link.

3. Much of the discussion of database diversity comes from a series of posts I coordinated with Mike Stonebraker.

4. At various times, starting on Slide 4, I made reference to datatype extensibility, a key feature of Oracle and DB2 – and a key advantage of Postgres over MySQL.

10. Capping off the database diversity discussion, Slide 10 mirrors this 11-point version of a data management software taxonomy.

13-14. I’ve posted many times about data warehousing DBMS and related technologies, including this overview of major analytic DBMS products, another recent overview of data warehouse specialty technologies, and an attempt to distinguish between data warehouse appliance myths and realities. Of particular interest for further research may be our sections on data warehouse appliances and columnar DBMS.

15. I do most of my posting about text search over on Text Technologies, specifically in the search category. Vendors I specifically mentioned as blending search with other kinds of data retrieval were Mark Logic and Attivio.

16. There’s a section here on native XML database management.

17. We also have a section on managing RDF and other graphical data models.

18. Ditto complex event/stream processing.

19. The only embeddable DBMS I’ve written much about recently is solidDB. And frankly, even in that case I’ve focused more on mid-tier caching uses, the now-canceled MySQL relationship, or general technology than I did specifically on embedded uses.

22-24. Back in February, 2007 I made what is probably still my clearest post explaining why I think market-leading DBMS vendors are in the process of getting disrupted

April 2, 2008

Webcast on database diversity Wednesday April 9 2 pm Eastern

Once or twice a year, EnterpriseDB sponsors a webcast for me. The last two were super well-attended. And most people stayed to the end, which is generally an encouraging sign!

The emphasis this time is on alternatives to the market-leading DBMS. I’ll highlight the advantages of both data warehousing specialists and general-purpose mid-range DBMS (naturally focusing on the latter, given who the sponsor is). The provocative title is taken from a January, 2008 post — What leading DBMS vendors don’t want you to realize. If you read every word of this blog, there probably won’t be much new for you. :) But I’d love to have you listen in and perhaps ask a question anyway!

You can register on EnterpriseDB’s webcast page, which also has an archived webcast I did for them in October, 2007.

March 25, 2008

EnterpriseDB unveils Postgres Plus

EnterpriseDB is making a series of moves and announcements. Highlights include:

So far as I can tell, most of the technical differences between Advanced Server and regular Postgres Plus lie in three areas: Read more

March 11, 2008

IBM discontinues the solidDB MySQL engine

Last year, I thought that solidDB could at least potentially be an outstanding MySQL engine. But as per news posted on SourceForge last week, that’s not going to happen. At least, it’s not going to happen via any development efforts from IBM.

March 6, 2008

Who EnterpriseDB sells to

I previously wrote that EnterpriseDB-on-Elastra has very little enterprise traction, drawing most of its interest instead from online businesses or ISVs. Having used that as a starting point in a recent chat with EnterpriseDB marketing chief Derek Rodner, I can now add that overall:

February 16, 2008

Mike Stonebraker’s DBMS taxonomy

In a response to my recent five-part series on DBMS diversity, Mike Stonebraker has proposed his own taxonomy of data management technologies over on Vertica’s Database Column blog. (Edit: Some good stuff disappeared when Vertica nuked that blog.)

  1. OLTP DBMSs focused on fast, reliable transaction processing
  2. Analytic/Data Warehouse DBMSs focused on efficient load and ad-hoc query performance
  3. Science DBMSs — after all MatLab does not scale to disk-sized arrays
  4. RDF stores focused on efficiently storing semi-structured data in this format
  5. XML stores focused on semi-structured data in this format
  6. Search engines — the big players all use proprietary engines in this area
  7. Stream Processing Engines focused on real-time StreamSQL
  8. “Lean and Mean,” less-than-a-database engines focused on doing a small number of things very well (embedded databases are probably in this category)
  9. MapReduce and Hadoop — after all Google has enough “throw weight” to define a category

He goes on to say that each will be architected differently, except that — as he already convinced me back in July — RDF will be well-managed by specialty data warehouse DBMS. Read more

February 15, 2008

Database management system choices — mid-range-relational

This is the fourth of a five-part series on database management system choices. For the first post in the series, please click here.

The other threat to the high-end relational DBMS vendors aims squarely at the heart of their business. It’s the mid-range relational database management systems, which are doing an ever-larger fraction of what their high-end cousins can. That said, different products do different things well. So if you’re not blindly paying up for the security of an all-things-to-all-people high-end DBMS, there are a number of factors you might want to consider.

Read more

February 14, 2008

EnterpriseDB on Elastra, early stages

I finally caught up with Bob Zurek about EnterpriseDB’s foray into the Elastra cloud. Here are some highlights:

February 5, 2008

PostgreSQL speeds up OLTP

The Register reports on PostgreSQL 8.3, and emphasizes OLTP speedups and reductions in administrative burden:

Among the changes, Heap Only Tuples (HOT) that may cut the maintenance overhead of frequently updated tables by up to 75 per cent, spread checkpoints and background writer autotuning to reduce the impact of check points on response times, and an asynchronous commit option that also speeds the response times of certain transactions.

I wonder how EnterpriseDB compares on these features.

Edit: Slashdot has discussion and links. And here’s a PostgreSQL feature matrix.

January 30, 2008

EnterpriseDB joins Elastra in the Amazon cloud

When Elastra announced their service to host MySQL and PostgreSQL in the Amazon S3/EC2 cloud, I immediately told my dear darling clients at EnterpriseDB they should do the same. Whereupon they told me it would happen soon. However, they neglected to tell me when it was actually announced. So I know no more than can be found in this Computerworld article.

But I’ll say this — it’s a very tempting option, both for new web-based applications or businesses, or simply as a development platform pending later redeployment.

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