Feeds

Microsoft, Facebook, Google box clever on really big systems

The enemy of my enemy...

High performance access to file storage

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.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.