A short history of analytical databases

    By: Mr. Adrian Bridgwater on Aug 06, 2013

    This is an excerpt from Bloor Group's INSIDE ANALYSIS taken from a piece entitled Understanding Analytical Databases by Wayne Eckerson a consultant/analyst specializing in business intelligence, analytics, performance mgmt, data warehousing and big data.

    Two phases of evolution

    Eckerson says there have been two phases in the evolution of relational systems for processing big data.

    Twenty years ago, companies that wanted to consolidate data for reporting and analysis implemented a relational database. As organizations added more data and users to these systems, they hit the wall in terms of scalability and performance. So a decade ago, most established database vendors and quite a few startups started to redesign the relational database solely for query processing and advanced analytics.

    Enter advanced analytics

    These so-called analytical databases, or analytical platforms, span a range of technology from appliances and columnar databases to shared nothing, massively parallel processing databases, with unique extensions which in some cases include a MapReduce processing framework for advanced analytics.

    The common thread among them is that most are read-only environments that deliver exceptional price/performance compared with general-purpose relational databases originally designed to run transaction processing applications.

    Teradata laid the groundwork for the analytical platform market when it launched the first analytical appliance in the early 1980s.

    Sybase was also an early forerunner, shipping the first columnar database in the mid-1990s.

    IBM Netezza kicked the current market into high gear in 2003 when it unveiled a popular analytical appliance and was soon followed by dozens of startups. Oracle launched the Exadata appliance in 2008, and it has been one of the company’s most successful products ever. Aster Data (now part of Teradata) tightly integrated MapReduce with SQL processing. Startup ParAccel, now owned by Actian, offers a software-only analytical database, which is implemented by financial services and other companies that require the highest level of performance for complex queries and analytical workloads.

    You can read the complete piece here.

    About the Author: Wayne Eckerson has been a thought leader in the data warehousing, business intelligence, and performance management fields since 1995. He has conducted numerous in-depth research studies and is the author of the best-selling book “Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business.” 

    Released: August 6, 2013, 2:31 am
    Keywords: Opinion News | Analytics

    Paul Vero Database and Developer Digest
    By: Paul Vero | Posted: August 7, 2013, 7:24 am

    Like the history lesson as it puts things in perspective. Thinking back in the old days and looking at what is going on now is fascinating.




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