Saturday, January 22, 2005

Streaming Databases, the future?


Looks like there's a company called Streambase which is about to release a new database that's nothing sort of revolutionary. For an explanation check this excerpt:

Michael Stonebraker is well-known in the database business, and for good reasons. He was the computer science professor behind Ingres and Postgres. Eighteen months ago, he started a new company, StreamBase, with another computer science professor, Stan Zdonik, with the goal of speeding access to relational databases. In "Data On The Fly," reports that the company software, also named StreamBase, is reading TCP/IP streams and using asynchronous messaging. Streaming data without storing it on disk as are doing other relational database software gives them a tremendous speed advantage. The company claims it can process 140,000 messages per second on a $1,500 PC, when its competitors can only deal with 900 messages per second. Too good to be true? Read more...

Here are some excerpts from the Forbes article.

"Relational databases are one to two orders of magnitude too slow," says Stonebraker, who is chief technology officer at Streambase, a 25-person outfit based in Lexington, Mass. "Big customers have already tried to use relational databases for streaming data and dismissed them. Those products are non-starters in this market."

In a recent pilot program, Streambase was able to analyze 140,000 messages per second, while a leading relational database -- Stonebraker won't say which one -- could handle only 900 messages per second. Streambase has 12 customers now testing its software, all of them financial services companies that need to analyze rapid-fire ticker feeds and other streaming data.

Unlike traditional database programs, Streambase analyzes data without storing it to disk, performing queries on data as it flows. Traditional systems bog down because they first store data on hard drives or in main memory and then query it, Stonebraker says.

Wow, if someone open sources this it will reign in a whole new era of databases. Real time analyzing large chunks of data will be a reality.


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