Feeds

Microsoft, Facebook, Google box clever on really big systems

The enemy of my enemy...

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Facebook's decision to release under open source a large-scale data management project similar to - and inspired by - Google's BigTable has received backing from an unusual quarter: Microsoft.

Data center futures architect and distinguished database developer James Hamilton, has complemented the pimply faced social network for releasing what he said "looks like a well-engineered system."

Hamilton spent ten years at IBM working on DB2 before joining Microsoft in 1997 to work on SQL Server, and recently collaborated with fellow database guru Michael Stonebraker on an examination of future database architectures.

Stonebraker put the cat among the pigeons by slagging off Google's MapReduce database tool earlier this year - he called it a step backwards. Stonebraker also noted there are limitations in BigTable and its open-source equivalent Hbase.

Conspiracy theorists might find it interesting that Stonebraker's co-author David de Witt joined Microsoft in April to head up a new research effort into large databases. They should also remember Microsoft is an investor in Facebook.

Adding insult to injury, Facebook has put its project - called Cassandra - up on Google Code. Cassandra is not alone on Google code. Another BigTable clone called Hypertable was set up on Google Code earlier this year.

Like BigTable, Cassandra is designed to get round the limitations of traditional relational databases in large-scale, online applications.

Cassandra is the work of a Facebook team led by Jeff Hammerbacher, an ex-Harvard student who was recruited by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg from troubled Wall Street bank Bear Stearns.

Hammerbacher is now reported to have become the latest Faceboook employee to have served his notice. Can we expect this Facebook youf to show up in well-remunerated style at Redmond this Fall?

And, will all this prompt Google to put BigTable - or even MapReduce - into open source? Given it decided to release its Protocol Buffers technology to open source this week - its not beyond the bounds of possibility.

There is a precedent: Facebook released Thrift, its clone of Protocol Buffers, to open source last year.

The games continue.®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.