Analysis of open source database management system PostgreSQL and other products in the PostgreSQL ecosystem. Related subjects include:

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

August 7, 2012

Notes on some basic database terminology

In a call Monday with a prominent company, I was told:

That, to put it mildly, is not accurate. So I shall try, yet again, to set the record straight.

In an industry where people often call a DBMS just a “database” — so that a database is something that manages a database! — one may wonder why I bother. Anyhow …

1. The products commonly known as Oracle, Exadata, DB2, Sybase, SQL Server, Teradata, Sybase IQ, Netezza, Vertica, Greenplum, Aster, Infobright, SAND, ParAccel, Exasol, Kognitio et al. all either are or incorporate relational database management systems, aka RDBMS or relational DBMS.

2. In principle, there can be difficulties in judging whether or not a DBMS is “relational”. In practice, those difficulties don’t arise — yet. Every significant DBMS still falls into one of two categories:

*I expect the distinction to get more confusing soon, at which point I’ll adopt terms more precise than “relational things” and “relational stuff”.

3. There are two chief kinds of relational DBMS: Read more

November 8, 2011

Hadapt is moving forward

I’ve talked with my clients at Hadapt a couple of times recently. News highlights include:

The Hadapt product story hasn’t changed significantly from what it was before. Specific points I can add include:   Read more

July 6, 2011

Hadapt update

I met with the Hadapt guys today.  I think I can be a bit crisper than before in positioning Hadapt and its use cases, namely:

Other evolution from what I wrote about Hadapt a few months ago includes:

In other news, Hadapt is our newest client.

March 23, 2011

Hadapt (commercialized HadoopDB)

The HadoopDB company Hadapt is finally launching, based on the HadoopDB project, albeit with code rewritten from scratch. As you may recall, the core idea of HadoopDB is to put a DBMS on every node, and use MapReduce to talk to the whole database. The idea is to get the same SQL/MapReduce integration as you get if you use Hive, but with much better performance* and perhaps somewhat better SQL functionality.** Advantages vs. a DBMS-based analytic platform that includes MapReduce — e.g. Aster Data — are less clear.  Read more

January 20, 2011

Notes, links, and comments January 20, 2011

I haven’t done a pure notes/links/comments post for a while. Let’s fix that now. (A bunch of saved-up links, however, did find their way into my recent privacy threats overview.)

First and foremost, the fourth annual New England Database Summit (nee “Day”) is next week, specifically Friday, January 28. As per my posts in previous years, I think well of the event, which has a friendly, gathering-of-the-clan flavor. Registration is free, but the organizers would prefer that you register online by the end of this week, if you would be so kind.

The two things potentially wrong with the New England Database Summit are parking and the rush hour drive home afterwards. I would listen with interest to any suggestions about dinner plans.

One thing I hope to figure out at the Summit or before is what the hell is going on on Vertica’s blog or, for that matter, at Vertica. The recent Mike Stonebraker post that spawned a lot of discussion and commentary has disappeared. Meanwhile, Vertica has had three consecutive heads of marketing leave the company since June, and I don’t know who to talk to there any more.  Read more

July 28, 2010

dbShards — a lot like an MPP OLTP DBMS based on MySQL or PostgreSQL

I talked yesterday w/ Cory Isaacson, who runs CodeFutures, makers of dbShards. dbShards is a software layer that turns an ordinary DBMS (currently MySQL or PostgreSQL) into an MPP shared-nothing ACID-compliant OLTP DBMS. Technical highlights included:  Read more

May 15, 2010

Stakeholder-facing analytics

There’s a point I keep making in speeches, and used to keep making in white papers, yet have almost never spelled out in this blog. Let me now (somewhat) correct the oversight.

Analytic technology isn’t only for you. It’s also for your customers, citizens, and other stakeholders.

I am not referring here to what is well understood to be an important, fast-growing activity — providing data and its analysis to customers as your primary or only business — nor to the related business of taking people’s data, crunching it for them, and giving them results. That combined sector — which I am pretty alone in aggregating into one and calling data mart outsourcing — is one of the top several vertical markets for a lot of the analytic DBMS vendors I write about. Rather, I’m talking about enterprises that gather data for some primary purpose, and have discovered that a good secondary use of the data is to reflect it back to stakeholders, often the same ones who provided or created it in the first place.

For now I’ll call this category stakeholder-facing analytics, as the shorter phrase “stakeholder analytics” would be ambiguous.* I first picked up the idea early this decade from Information Builders, for whom it had become something of a specialty. I’ve been asking analytics vendors for examples of stakeholder-facing analytics ever since, and a number have been able to comply. But the whole thing is in its early days even so; almost any sufficiently large enterprise should be more active in stakeholder-facing analytics than it currently is.
Read more

April 5, 2010

Notes on the evolution of OLTP database management systems

The past few years have seen a spate of startups in the analytic DBMS business. Netezza, Vertica, Greenplum, Aster Data and others are all reasonably prosperous, alongside older specialty product vendors Teradata and Sybase (the Sybase IQ part).  OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) and general purpose DBMS startups, however, have not yet done as well, with such success as there has been (MySQL, Intersystems Cache’, solidDB’s exit, etc.) generally accruing to products that originated in the 20th Century.

Nonetheless, OLTP/general-purpose data management startup activity has recently picked up, targeting what I see as some very real opportunities and needs. So as a jumping-off point for further writing, I thought it might be interesting to collect a few observations about the market in one place.  These include:

I shall explain. Read more

October 19, 2009

Greenplum Single-Node Edition — sometimes free is a real cool price

Greenplum is announcing today that you can run Greenplum software on a single 8-core commodity server, free. First and foremost, that’s a strong statement that Greenplum wants enterprises to pay it for Greenplum’s parallelization/”private cloud” capabilities. Second, it may be an attractive gift to a variety of folks who want to extract insight from terabyte-scale databases of various kinds.

Greenplum Single-Node Edition:

For those who want free, terabyte-scale data warehousing software, Greenplum Single-Node Edition may be quite appealing, considering that the main available alternatives are:

For example, comparing PostgreSQL-based Greenplum with PostgreSQL itself, Greenplum offers:

Read more

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