Relational database pioneer says technology is obsolete
Michael Stonebraker blogs not to praise RDBMSes but to bury them
Computerworld - As a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1970s, Michael Stonebraker co-created the Ingres and Postgres technology that underlies many leading relational databases today: Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server, Sybase Inc.'s Adaptive Server Enterprise, Ingres Corp.'s eponymous product, IBM's Informix, and others.
But Stonebraker now argues that relational databases, also known as RDBMSes, are "long in the tooth" and "should be considered legacy technology."
In an entry Tuesday at a new blog, The Database Column, Stonebraker also argued that today's relational databases lag badly in performance behind a new wave of databases that flip database tables 90 degrees.
Column-oriented databases -- such as the one built by Stonebraker's latest start-up, Andover, Mass.-based Vertica Systems Inc. -- store data vertically in table columns rather than in successive rows.
By putting similar data together, column-oriented databases minimize the time to read the disk, which can add up when executing large-scale calculations such as those typically done in a data warehouse.
Column databases "will take over the warehouse market over time, completely displacing row stores," Stonebraker wrote. "Since many warehouse users are in considerable pain (can't load in the available load window, can't support ad-hoc queries, can't get better performance without a "fork-lift" upgrade), I expect this transition to column stores will occur fairly quickly."
Column-oriented database systems are not new. Sybase has successfully sold its column-based IQ database for years as a high-performance business intelligence solution.
But they remain a niche offering. In comparison, the leading players in the mainstream database market, which is estimated at $15 billion annually worldwide, all rely on systems using row-based tables.
Organizing data by rows does have its advantages. Writing data to disk in row format is faster than doing so by columns. That is key for high-transaction database applications where data is constantly being read and written to the database, though markedly less important for data warehouses, where data is typically written just once and accessed many times after that.
Stonebraker, who is a co-founder and chief technology officer of Vertica, claims that his latest start-up has other performance-boosting features, such as very aggressive data compression and a query executor that "runs against compressed data."
As a result, "Vertica beats all row stores on the planet -- typically by a factor of 50," he wrote. "The only engines that come closer are other column stores, which Vertica typically beats by around a factor of 10."
Stonebraker says other firms similar to Vertica can do just as well.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Who's afraid of the big (data) bad wolf? Survive the big data storm by getting ahead of integration and governance functional requirements This paper provides a detailed review of the best practices clients should consider before embarking on their big data integration projects.
- Understanding big data so you can act with confidence Automating information integration and governance and employing it at the point of data creation helps organizations boost confidence in their big data.
- Integrating and Governing Big Data The end-to-end information integration capabilities of IBM® InfoSphere® Information Server are designed to help organizations understand, cleanse, monitor, transform and deliver data-as well...
- The MDM advantage: Creating insight from big data To help enterprises create trusted insight as the volume, velocity and variety of data continue to explode, IBM offers several solutions designed to...
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- The Software-Defined Data Center: Is your ADC ready? Data center transformation is accelerating beyond virtualization to next-generation cloud architectures and software-defined data centers, bringing new challenges for application performance, scalability and...
- Application Acceleration: Optimize the End-User Experience Watch this on-demand webcast and learn how you can optimize your web content, accelerate performance across any device and browser combination, and offload... All Business Intelligence/Analytics White Papers | Webcasts