Shared nothing has been a big deal in the database world for some time. It's what companies like Google are based on -- a distributed database without a single point of contention.
Greenplum is an example of what CEO Scott Yara calls the next generation of innovation. "Commercial entities innovate on open source code and sell commercial features on open source," he said.
In the case of Greenplum, which has major venture capital backing, "We rebuilt the query optimizer and executor" of PostgreSQL, "as well as an interconnect. So you can run it across clusters and build terabyte sized warehousing systems using off the shelf hardware."
This is a problem a lot of Web 2.0 start-ups like Technorati, Bloglines and Flickr are facing, and projects like Drupal will face soon. They were built with open source tools, but then find they need to "graduate" to something like a data warehouse. And there's old Oracle, telling them there's nothing from an open source supplier that can deliver what they need. Share with us, they say, you don't have any choice.
Well, now there is a choice. Greenplum CTO Luke Lonergan said that O'Reilly Media, one of Greenplum's early customers, "graduated" from mySQL to PostgreSQL with Greenplum and got a
100% 100 times improvement in database access speed across a 500 Gigabyte database. Other Web 2.0 start-ups, and projects, can do the same thing.
"The price of conversion is where the pain is," said Yara, but "look at how fast some of these projects grow." While mySQL was smart in building on a lightweight Web base, more and more users and projects will find the need to graduate, and face proprietary FUD from major vendors saying they have to pay the "monopoly tax" in order to grow.
Well, they don't. And they can even convert now, if they fear the mySQL FUD companies like Oracle are putting out, Yara added.
It's at share nothing that the proprietary world is really moving in on open source. But now projects that need to build big warehouses can say share nothing right back at 'em.