Vertica brings higher speeds to ad hoc queries

Vertica brings higher speeds to ad hoc queries

Summary: Michael Stonebraker has a history of database breakthroughs. He was a founder of Ingres, Illustra, Cohera and StreamBase Systems.

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Michael Stonebraker has a history of database breakthroughs. He was a founder of Ingres, Illustra, Cohera and StreamBase Systems. He also served as CTO of Informix and helped develop Postgres. His most recent creation is Vertica, which just launched version 2.o of its database.

The claims around Vertica Analytic Database 2.0 are significant for querying data warehouses and data marts. According to the company, Vertica can access dozens of terabytes at lower cost than other solutions and respond to ad hoc queries based on real-time data in seconds.

The speeds comes from a shared-nothing, column architecture; data compression of up to 90 percent less table space; and concurrent loading and querying. The company claims that queries against terabyte databases are answered 50 to 200 times faster than competing row-oriented databases and specialized hardware.

According to Vertica, organizing data in columns of values from the same attribute, rather than as rows of tabular records results in faster performance for analytic databases. The result is that when a query needs to access just a few columns of a table, it only has to read those columns from the disk. In row-oriented databases, all the values in a table are usually read, consuming bandwidth.

vertica.jpg In Vertica's unique architecture, logical tables are physically stored as columns, and partitioned into segments on several machines and in several different projections. Source: Vertica

Vertica has a few marquee customers so far, including Comcast, Level 3 and JP Morgan.

Stonebraker isn't done with creating new kinds of databases. He is working with a group of MIT/Brown/Yale scientists to completely rethink the OLTP database concept. Curt Monash has coverage of it in his DBMS2 blog.

Topics: Data Centers, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Software, Storage

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2 comments
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  • Sybase Lawsuit Against Vertica

    Sybase has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against
    Vertica. Sybase's patent on the "organization of the
    columnar structure to support decision support systems" is
    10 years old and is in force until 2018. The lawsuit was
    filed in January of this year. The pending litigation will
    make it impossible for Vertica to indemnify their
    prospective customers against lawsuit in their software
    license agreements. This is a major development that may
    have an impact on all vendors pushing the columnar
    approach. The columnar approach has been around since
    the 70's Is there something inherent to this technique that
    makes it difficult for the vendors to differentiate or is
    Sybase's patent too broad?
    BillWalters001
  • RE: Vertica brings higher speeds to ad hoc queries

    Sybase has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against
    Vertica. Sybase's patent on the "organization of the
    columnar structure to support decision support systems" is
    10 years old and is in force until 2018. The lawsuit was
    filed in January of this year. The pending litigation will
    make it impossible for Vertica to indemnify their
    prospective customers against lawsuit in their software
    license agreements. This is a major development that may
    have an impact on all vendors pushing the columnar
    approach. The columnar approach has been around since
    the 70's Is there something inherent to this technique that
    makes it difficult for the vendors to differentiate or is
    Sybase's patent too broad?
    BillWalters001