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:

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.

January 28, 2008

What hard-core transactional applications have actually been built in MySQL, PostgreSQL, EnterpriseDB, or FileMaker?

And here’s the biggie.

Question of the day #3

What complex, high-volume transactional applications have actually been built in mid-range DBMS such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, FileMaker, or EnterpriseDB?

I’ve been flamed for suggesting that MySQL or FileMaker aren’t fully equal to Oracle and DB2 in supporting hard-core transactional applications. (Which is ironic, because I’ve also been flamed for suggesting hard-core transactional support isn’t as big a deal for DBMS selection as some relational purists insist. But I digress …) So I’m putting the question out there — what impressive transactional applications do the stand-alone mid-range DBMS actually support? Read more

January 24, 2008

14 reasons not to use MySQL or other mid-range database management systems

I may argue for the use of open source and other mid-range database management systems, but a lot of industry sentiment remains on the other side. Vendors of high-end RDBMS naturally advocate enterprise-wide single-vendor adoption. Many CIOs and industry analysts, overwhelmed by product proliferation, think that’s a neat idea as well.

And in fairness, they’re not entirely wrong. Here are 14 reasons for using high-end relational database management systems, even on applications for which mid-range DBMS would suffice. Read more

January 22, 2008

What leading DBMS vendors don’t want you to realize

For very high-end applications, the list of viable database management systems is short. Scalability can be a problem. (The rankings of most scalable alternatives differ in the OLTP and data warehouse realms.) Extreme levels of security can be had from only a few DBMS. (Oracle would have you believe there’s only one choice.) And if you truly need 99.99% uptime, there only are a few DBMS you even should consider.

But for most applications at any enterprise – and for all applications at most enterprises – super high-end DBMS aren’t required. There are relatively few applications that wouldn’t run perfectly well on PostgreSQL or EnterpriseDB today. Ingres and Progress OpenEdge aren’t far behind (they’re a little lacking in datatype support). Ditto Intersystems Cache’, although the nonrelational architecture will be off-putting to many. And to varying degrees, you can also do fine with MySQL, Pervasive PSQL, MaxDB, or a variety of other products – or for that matter with the cheap or free crippled versions of Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, and Informix.

What’s more, these mid-range database management systems can have significant advantages over their high-end brethren. Read more

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