Specialized Databases vs. Swiss Army Knives

Michael Stonbreaker has suggested several times… and again in this interview… that  databases will become more specialized and that “one size will fit none”. I’m sure that his argument is more nuanced than the sound bites in the interview, but in this post I’ll suggest a line of thinking that may lead to a different conclusion.…

HANA Memory Utilization

The current release of HANA requires that all of the data required to satisfy a query be in-memory to run the query. Let’s think about what this means: HANA compresses tables into bitmap vectors… and then compresses the vectors on write to reduce disk I/O. Disk I/O with HANA? Yup. Once this formatting is complete…

Who is How Columnar? Exadata, Teradata, and HANA – Part 1: Column Compression

There are three forms of columnar-orientation currently deployed by database systems today. Each builds upon the next. The simplest form uses column-orientation to provide better data compression. The next level of maturity stores columnar data in separate structures to support columnar projection. The most mature implementations support a columnar database engine that performs relational algebra…

Indexes are not a good thing… A blog on TCO

In many of my posts I refer to the issues associated with building “extra” data structures to meet performance goals (see one of my first posts ever here). These extra structures are always a trade-off… slowing the performance of one function in order to speed up another. I thought that it might be helpful to be…