Ingres alumnus joins DBMS scrum

Cloudy conjecture

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Ingres originator Jerry Held has become the latest database big gun to take aim at traditional database management systems (DBMS), saying they are unsuited to cloud computing.

A former senior Oracle vice president, now chairman of Vertica promoting a database it claims is - guess what - suited to cloud computing, Held has blogged that the infrastructure of cloud computing is so different to traditional computing that established DBMS will not be able to cope.

Held has listed five basic criteria for a successful DBMS running in a cloud infrastructure. These include high availability and performance, standards-based connectivity, "aggressive" compression and a "shared nothing massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture."

"There are no high-end servers with dozens of CPU cores, SANs, replicated systems, or proprietary data warehousing appliances available in the cloud. Therefore, a new DBMS software architecture is required to enable large volumes of data to be analyzed quickly and reliably on the cloud's commodity hardware," Held wrote.

Held joins fellow Ingres alumni and Vertica co-founder and chief technology officer Michael Stonebraker in critiquing DBMS. Stonebraker recently wrote DBMS is 20 years out of date and in need of a radical rewrite. He was even handed in his criticism, and laid into Google's MapReduce, which he called "sub optimal" compared to DBMS for processing large unstructured databases.

The past year has certainly seen a plethora of DBMS products aimed at different levels of cloud computing users. These range from enterprise products such as Google's BigTable, EnterpriseDB, Microsoft's SQL Server Data Services and Sun Microsystems' MySQL to more humble small-business products such as Google's Googlebase and Amazon's SimpleDB. ®

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