NoSQL vs. NewSQL vs. traditional RDBMS

I frequently am asked questions that boil down to:

  • When should one use NoSQL?
  • When should one use a new SQL product (NewSQL or otherwise)?
  • When should one use a traditional RDBMS (most likely Oracle, DB2, or SQL Server)?

The details vary with context — e.g. sometimes MySQL is a traditional RDBMS and sometimes it is a new kid — but the general class of questions keeps coming. And that’s just for short-request use (more...)

RDBMS and their bundle-mates

Relational DBMS used to be fairly straightforward product suites, which boiled down to:

  • A big SQL interpreter.
  • A bunch of administrative and operational tools.
  • Some very optional add-ons, often including an application development tool.

Now, however, most RDBMS are sold as part of something bigger.

Comments on the 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems

The 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems is out. “Operational” seems to be Gartner’s term for what I call short-request, in each case the point being that OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) is dubious term when systems omit strict consistency, and when even strictly consistent systems may (more...)

Thoughts on in-memory columnar add-ons

Oracle announced its in-memory columnar option Sunday. As usual, I wasn’t briefed; still, I have some observations. For starters:

  • Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are all doing something similar …
  • … because it makes sense.
  • The basic idea is to take the technology that manages indexes — which are basically columns+pointers (more...)

Cloudera Sentry and other security subjects

I chatted with Charles Zedlewski of Cloudera on Thursday about security — especially Cloudera’s new offering Sentry — and other Hadoop subjects.

Sentry is:

  • Developed by Cloudera.
  • An Apache incubator project.
  • Slated to be rolled into CDH — Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution — over the next couple of weeks.
  • Only useful (more...)

“Disruption” in the software industry

I lampoon the word “disruptive” for being badly overused. On the other hand, I often refer to the concept myself. Perhaps I should clarify. :)

You probably know that the modern concept of disruption comes from Clayton Christensen, specifically in The Innovator’s Dilemma and its sequel, The Innovator’s Solution. The basic (more...)

The refactoring of everything

I’ll start with three observations:

  • Computer systems can’t be entirely tightly coupled — nothing would ever get developed or tested.
  • Computer systems can’t be entirely loosely coupled — nothing would ever get optimized, in performance and functionality alike.
  • In an ongoing trend, there is and will be dramatic refactoring as (more...)

Introduction to Deep Information Sciences and DeepDB

I talked Friday with Deep Information Sciences, makers of DeepDB. Much like TokuDB — albeit with different technical strategies — DeepDB is a single-server DBMS in the form of a MySQL engine, whose technology is concentrated around writing indexes quickly. That said:

  • DeepDB’s indexes can help you with analytic queries; (more...)

Appliances, clusters and clouds

I believe:

  • The trend to clustered computing is sustainable.
  • The trend to appliances is also sustainable.
  • The “single” enterprise cluster is almost as much of a pipe dream as the single enterprise database.

I shall explain.

Arguments for hosting applications on some kind of cluster include:

One database to rule them all?

Perhaps the single toughest question in all database technology is: Which different purposes can a single data store serve well? — or to phrase it more technically — Which different usage patterns can a single data store support efficiently? Ted Codd was on multiple sides of that issue, first suggesting (more...)