Feeds

Time to reject traditional database techniques?

'Big' data and the BI challenge

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Specialized databases such as those built by Google and Yahoo, data warehouse software such as Vertica and Monet and innovative DBMS such as H-Store were all claimed to outperform relational DBMS products. Even in Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) - the traditional strong point of classic relational databases - H-Store was claimed to perform better.

At the heart of the argument against relational DBMS are, firstly, what are seen as the limitations of the old relational model and SQL and, secondly, how they may either be upgraded or replaced. Some argue in favor of new approaches such as the MapReduce technology used by Google to power its massive search engine operations. Others hold true to the transactional integrity and ACID properties built into traditional DBMS such as IBMS DB2, Oracle, and Microsoft's SQL Server.

Even the DBMS gurus can be confusing. While advocating new approaches to DBMS in the 2007 VLDB paper, Stonebraker provoked a storm in January when he co-authored a critique of Google's MapReduce that was widely acknowledged as a "new approach".

One of Stonebraker's criticisms of MapReduce was the lack of SQL-like tools. The omission was remedied in August by newcomers Aster Data and Greenplum - so it appears that there's still a need for at least some bits of relational DBMS technology.

MapReduce blasphemy

But even MapReduce has limitations. Recent analysis carried out by eBay revealed some resource usage problems.

The future of DBMS technology rests on a combination of tried-and-tested techniques from the past and innovations to cope with large data volumes and more demanding users.

The recent announcements from Oracle and Microsoft embody some of the changes that point towards some sort of consensus on future development of DBMS. Oracle's Exadata and Microsoft's Kilimanjaro take on ideas from more modern approaches to DBMS and fold them into the tradition.

Oracle and Microsoft's new plans also include in-memory processing, massively-parallel processing, and the column-storage approach used in data warehouse products such as Sybase IQ and, more recently, Vertica, and Google's BigTable

SQL and the relational model appear, it seems, are positioned to survive intact. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.