back to article Fed up with database speed? Meet Big Blue's BLU-eyed boy

Like other system vendors with their own software stacks, IBM is trying to boost the processing speed of its database software so it can take on larger and larger data munching jobs. The company launched its BLU Acceleration feature for several of its databases a few weeks ago as part of a broader big data blitzkrieg, saying …

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Bronze badge

While I quite like DB2

This doesn't seem that new to me. Sybase 15.7 has compression and Sybase IQ has had compression and been column based since the mid 90s as well as making queries there go seriously fast.

All good technology if used sensibly but this Big Data stuff does seem to be a bit of a case of the Emperor's new clothes.

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Dear TMP

You have been fed such a shovel-load of bullshit your insides must still be aching.

They may have something useful but every sign is they are talking total marketing-driven crap at you. Please learn some DB basics asap.

Data skipping ... aka the where clause... oh dear.

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FAIL

Re: Dear TMP

Clearly he doesn't know anything... ;-)

First, this is a repackaging of the IWA ( Informix/IDS Warehouse Accelerator) which was an extension of Kevin Brown's work done in the Financial Foundation done a decade earlier.

Second, the acceleration comes from the fact that you're putting everything in to memory and only a TB at that. (Note: they compress it to give you the feeling of more...)

That's pretty much it. Keep in mind that you have to load everything in to the accelerator and that takes time. So while you can query on things faster, its not really going to meet your needs in terms of 'big data' performance.

Its a hack to get a bit more simple analytics out of your RDBMS.

And yes, in spite of Janet Perna, IDS still has a large customer base. Its probably the best RDBMs on the market.

But this BLU is more smoke than mirrors. All it does is put a relatively small bit of data in memory for faster analytics than if it were on disk.

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Re: Dear TMP

Gumby! Long time no talk....

BLU is not an accelerator. Unlike the Informix solution it does not represent the copy of the data.

As for loading data, yes, Column Stores are not great on update/delete/insert. They do prefer reporting workloads. No silver bullet here.

But BLU does support these operations, although at a smaller rate of throughput compared to row oriented tables.

Cheers

Serge

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Did I miss something?

So how fast? Don't tell me it's wonderful then not give me numbers.

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Pirate

Some clarifications

Let me first address an error in the article. When describing the "skipping" and the "columnar properties" of BLU the example is reversed. Sales would benthe column and the sales yerasmallow formthe skipping. One wouldn't want to have 10 columns for each year.

Now, to the comments:

What's available for Informix and DB2 is an accelerator. That's a separate add-on to which IDS and DB2 z can reach out. The name of that project was "Blink". BLU stands for Blink ULtra. Think of it as second generation.

It is deeply integrated and uses some new additional features Blink does not.

Now, comparing to Sybase IQ.

Yes Sybase IQ is columnar, and yes Sybase IQ uses compresion.

But BLU goes beyond that. The fact that DB2 can perform comparison functions on the compressed data gives a big boost. There is no need to uncompress first, and then evaluate predicates.

This is what Netezza does in FPGA, DB2 z with hardware support and Oracle and DB2 with deep Compression in software.

The SIMD vector processing here is also novel here, I am not aware of Sybase IQ or Oracle exadata doing hat.

Skipping is not a WHERE clause. Or rather the SQL is a where clause, but BLU has technology loosely borrowed from Netezza which allows it to bypass large areas of the table altogether, similar to what you would do with partitioning, but without the overhead of administration.

Finally what makes BLU exciting is that it is within a regullar DB2. You can use BLU technology in an operational warehouse side by side with transactional operations including joins across the reporting (BLU) and transactional (regular) tables.. Sybase IQ is suitable only for datamarts since pure column stores cannot handle transactions well.

All, in all, it's not any of the individual technologies that make BLU great. It is the sum of them, and the fact that it's integrated into a mature DBMS with all the bells and whistles.

Cheers

Serge

Chief Architect IBM OpenPages

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