As a follow-up to the latest Stonebraker kerfuffle, Derrick Harris asked me a bunch of smart followup questions. My responses and afterthoughts include:
- Facebook et al. are in effect Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors, not enterprise technology users. In particular:
- They have the technical chops to rewrite their code as needed.
- Unlike packaged software vendors, they’re not answerable to anybody for keeping legacy code alive after a rewrite. That makes migration a lot easier.
- If they want to write different parts of their system on different technical underpinnings, nobody can stop them. For example …
- … Facebook innovated Cassandra, and is now heavily committed to HBase.
- It makes little sense to talk of Facebook’s use of “MySQL.” Better to talk of Facebook’s use of “MySQL + memcached + non-transparent sharding.” That said:
- It’s hard to see why somebody today would use MySQL + memcached + non-transparent sharding for a new project. At least one of Couchbase or transparently-sharded MySQL is very likely a superior alternative. Other alternatives might be better yet.
- As noted above in the example of Facebook, the many major web businesses that are using MySQL + memcached + non-transparent sharding for existing projects can be presumed able to migrate away from that stack as the need arises.
Continuing with that discussion of DBMS alternatives:
- If you just want to write to the memcached API anyway, why not go with Couchbase?
- If you want to go relational, why not go with MySQL? There are many alternatives for scaling or accelerating MySQL — dbShards, Schooner, Akiban, Tokutek, ScaleBase, ScaleDB, Clustrix, and Xeround come to mind quickly, so there’s a great chance that one or more will fit your use case. (And if you don’t get the choice of MySQL flavor right the first time, porting to another one shouldn’t be all THAT awful.)
- If you really, really want to go in-memory, and don’t mind writing Java stored procedures, and don’t need to do the kinds of joins it isn’t good at, but do need to do the kinds of joins it is, VoltDB could indeed be a good alternative.
And while we’re at it — going schema-free often makes a whole lot of sense. I need to write much more about the point, but for now let’s just say that I look favorably on the Big Four schema-free/NoSQL options of MongoDB, Couchbase, HBase, and Cassandra.
A press person recently asked about:
… start-ups that are building technologies to enable MySQL and other SQL databases to get over some of the problems they have in scaling past a certain size. … I’d like to get a sense as to whether or not the problems are as severe and wide spread as these companies are telling me? If so, why wouldn’t a customer just move to a new database?
While that sounds as if he was asking about scale-out relational DBMS in general, MySQL or otherwise, short-request or analytic, it turned out that he was asking just about short-request scale-out MySQL. My thoughts and comments on that narrower subject include(d) but are not limited to: Read more
|Categories: Akiban, dbShards and CodeFutures, Investment research and trading, Kaminario, MySQL, NewSQL, Oracle, ScaleBase, ScaleDB, Schooner Information Technology, Solid-state memory, Tokutek and TokuDB, Web analytics||5 Comments|
Since posting last Wednesday morning that I’m looking into NoSQL and HVSP, I’ve had a lot of conversations, including with (among others):
- Dwight Merriman of 10gen (MongoDB)
- Damien Katz of Couchio (CouchDB)
- Matt Pfeil of Riptano (Cassandra)
- Todd Lipcon of Cloudera (HBase committer)
- Tony Falco of Basho (Riak)
- John Busch of Schooner
- Ori Herrnstadt of Akiban
I plan to post a few things soon about MongoDB, Cassandra, and NoSQL in general. So I’m poking around a bit reading stuff on the subjects. Here are some links I found. Read more
|Categories: Amazon and its cloud, Cassandra, Continuent, Google, MySQL, NoSQL, Open source, RDF and graphs, Tokutek and TokuDB||5 Comments|
Here’s what I know about MySQL storage engines, more or less.
- MySQL with MyISAM is fast. But it’s not transactional. Except for limited purposes, MySQL with MyISAM is a pretty crummy DBMS. Nothing can change that.
- MySQL with InnoDB is transactional. But it’s not particularly fast. MySQL with InnoDB is a pretty mediocre DBMS. Oracle could fix that, at least partially, over time.
- I don’t know much about Falcon, Maria, and so on. With Oracle winding up owning both MySQL and InnoDB, the motivation for those engines (except as Oracle-free forks) might fade.
- Infobright is the most established of the rest. At the moment I’m not recommending it for most industrial-strength uses unless the user is particularly cash-constrained. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed soon. A cheap, fast, simple columnar analytic DBMS has a place in the world.
- Kickfire is next in line, offering a hardware-based growth path for users who’ve maxed out on what unaided MySQL can do. It remains to be seen for how many users the desire to keep things simple and stay with MySQL outweighs the desire to avoid custom hardware. Having Oracle salespeople all over those accounts surely wouldn’t help. Kickfire also has a second market, namely OEM vendors who are mainly interested in the superfast chip. That would probably be pretty unaffected by Oracle.
- Tokutek offers a technical proposition that’s hard to match head-on without going the CEP route. Users who care are likely to be MySQL shops. Tokutek’s main challenge is to prove that it sufficiently outdoes competing technical strategies for sufficiently many users. Oracle ownership of MySQL seems pretty irrelevant to Tokutek’s success or failure.
- Calpont offers a kind of lightweight Exadata alternative. With Calpont’s packaging and positioning perennially unclear, it’s difficult to predict the effect of a particular change — i.e., Oracle buying MySQL — in Calpont’s market environment.
- I haven’t heard from transactionally-oriented ScaleDB since I wrote about them a year ago. Apparently, they’re rolling out beta product this week, and their venerable techie guru sadly passed away earlier this month.
|Categories: Calpont, Columnar database management, Data warehousing, Exadata, Infobright, Kickfire, MySQL, Open source, Oracle, Tokutek and TokuDB||14 Comments|
Tokutek has a paradoxical pitch: Tokutek writes data particularly quickly, and therefore you’re supposed to buy Tokutek for query-oriented uses. Highlights of the Tokutek story include:
- Tokutek is a MySQL storage engine.
- MySQL/Tokutek writes indexed data a lot faster than B-tree-based alternatives. (The claim is 10s of 1000s of rows per second on a single server.)
- MySQL/Tokutek reads data at B-tree speeds. (But not, I presume, at the speed of specialized analytic DBMS.)
- Tokutek is not yet ACID-compliant. They’re working on that, but we don’t know what the performance implications will be when they achieve it. ACID compliance won’t come as soon as the May release (Tokutek Version 2.0).
- Tokutek has made one sale. Others are in the pipeline.
Tokutek’s initial target market is the usual combination of clickstream/personalization/other network management. The idea is that many data warehouse technologies have trouble getting latency below, say, 15 seconds to 5 minutes, at least at very high update volumes. So if immediacy is more important than raw complex query performance, Tokutek’s performance profile could be attractive. Read more