Last December, my column discussed columnar databases. When someone quoted it recently, I realized it had already become outdated, because a new generation of vendors, including Vertica Systems, ParAccel, Calpont and Infobright, has joined older columnar systems from Sybase IQ, Alterian, smartFOCUS, Kx Systems and 1010data.
In general, the new systems assign dedicated disk drives to each processor (shared-nothing) while the older systems apply multiple processors to a shared storage pool. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses, which introduce new differences to consider. In addition, the broader adoption of multiple processors and 64-bit memory removes some of the performance constraints that impacted earlier systems. First Ill revisit the original list of items to see which are still relevant, and then Ill add a few new ones.
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