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Brian Aker On the Future of Databases 175

blackbearnh recommends an interview with MySQL Director of Technology Brian Aker that O'Reilly Media is running. Aker talks about the merger of MySQL with Sun, the challenges of designing databases for a SOA world, and what the next decade will bring as far as changes to traditional database architecture. Audio is also available. From the interview: "I think there's two things right now that are pushing the changes... The first thing that's going to push the basic old OLCP transactional database world, which... really hasn't [changed] in some time now — is really a change in the number of cores and the move to solid state disks because a lot of the... concept around database is the idea that you don't have access to enough memory. Your disk is slow, can't do random reads very well, and you maybe have one, maybe eight processors but... you look at some of the upper-end hardware and the mini-core stuff,... and you're almost looking at kind of an array of processing that you're doing; you've got access to so many processors. And well the whole story of trying to optimize... around the problem of random I/O being expensive, well that's not that big of a deal when you actually have solid state disks. So that's one whole area I think that will... cause a rethinking in... the standard Jim Gray relational database design."
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Brian Aker On the Future of Databases

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  • Re:Too small (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @08:16PM (#23645929) Homepage Journal

    Worse than that. Part of that is the fact that RAID vendors tell people to go with drives from the same manufacturer to optimize performance, when in reality, they should be doing with the most diverse pool of drives possible, dramatically reducing the probability of multiple catastrophic failures at the same time (except through human error, some sort of physical impact, electrical surge, etc.). If a drive has a design defect, it isn't at all uncommon for them all to fail at n+/-k hours for some relatively small value of k. If all your drives are the same model from the same batch, your probability of losing the entire array is suddenly remarkably close to 100%. RAID with the same model of drive dramatically reduces reliability in the name of performance.

    Even mirroring is basically useless for reliability if the drives are from the same vendor unless you swap out the mirrored drive daily so that no single backup has been operating more than half as long as the main drive. RAID is a nice idea in theory, but the reality is that with what seems to be a rapid decline in hard drive reliability over the past few years, in practice, performance notwithstanding, RAID just raises your power bill and guarantees you have two drives to ship back to the manufacturer for replacement instead of one.

    As an aside, I had two personal hard drives die in the past week (and four within the last year). When you consider that I only have about 5 drives in regular use, that's alarming. Both of these drives were under a year old. One was a Seagate 500 GB drive in continuous operation in a heavily cooled tower (sides off the tower, four fans blowing outside air straight across the drive). Came into the house and it sounded like someone was using a radial arm saw. Cloned off enough data before the drive stopped reading any blocks at all, so my MythTV box is up and running again. That lasted about 9 months. The other was a Seagate 160 GB 5400 RPM laptop drive. Lasted 11 months and suddenly went into click-of-death mode where no data was accessible from the drive. It's going to be a long time and a lot of therapy before I'll ever trust anything important to a Winchester drive again... and Seagate went in a single week from my "high reliability, buy over all other vendors" list to my "not in a million years" list.

  • Re:Cores? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @09:04PM (#23646301) Journal
    "sudo" is that command which grants one user authorization to act as another user.

    "pseudo-" is that verbal prefix which means "false".

    I'm seeing language devolve in front of my eyes...
  • Re:Admittedly.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by njcoder ( 657816 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @10:21PM (#23646821)
    Yeah, like the other responders have mentioned. Sounds like you're doing it horribly wrong.

    I don't know much about SPSS, but if you need to present the data in such a flat format, you can always store the data the proper way and create a view when you need to import it into SPSS.

    I'm not sure if there is some sort of limit on the number of columns in Oracle views or not.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN