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Clustrix 2014 Predictions – SQL is Cool Again and In-Memory Gets Real

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Robin Purohit, CEO of Clustrix

SQL is Cool Again and In-Memory Gets Real

In 2012, the IT industry saw enterprise adoption begin for a new generation of scale-out databases - NoSQL, Hadoop and Distributed SQL (or "NewSQL") - that are purpose built for scale-out cloud infrastructure. We summarized this trend in a recent blog post to help sort out where all these new database choices are taking us.

In 2014, I expect three trends to coalesce as IT innovators of all sizes get serious about building innovative and cloud-scale data-rich applications.

1) SQL is Cool Again.

After two years of relentless FUD that "SQL doesn't scale" by NoSQL evangelists, a return to sanity is returning. Both Google and Facebook recently published work to show not only that SQL can scale, but it is the best approach for certain workloads. Specifically, Google's F1 database for Adwords enables much simpler application development for very high concurrency OLTP and OLAP workloads, saving those pricy engineers for truly valuable work. And Facebook's comments that relational databases are essential for analytics added fuel to the new SQL hype programming now being promoted by every major Hadoop distribution.  

All this means that big data developers don't have to feel like they aren't cool because SQL is the right answer for their application. They can focus on using NoSQL where it makes sense.

2) In-Memory Databases for Real-Time Analytics Gets Real.

Every business wants split second analytics on up-to-date data. For 2013, there is a wave of new in-memory databases claiming to solve this problem from both major vendors and startups, claiming cheap RAM changes the equation.

As customers separate the hype from reality, they will come to learn that in-memory databases are:

  • Ideal for processing fast moving streams of data, such as social media feeds or sensor data.
  • Extremely expensive for TB-scale databases.
  • Provide great performance and great economics when combined with FLASH storage and scale-out database architecture.

3) Customers Get Picky on Choosing the Right Cloud for Four Nines.

Cloud computing is now firmly established as the best way to build innovative new apps on both shoestring budget and an unprecedented level of agility - even now for enterprise developers that are tired of waiting for the central ops teams to give them permission to innovate. This was evident from the 9,000 attendees at AWS re:Invent developer conference in November, though I'm sure GigaOM's comment, "AWS looking like the new Microsoft, with its cloud platform becoming the new Windows," sent a shudder through the IT industry, already paranoid about the impact of AWS on their businesses.

As a result, hosts, systems companies, software vendors, SaaS companies have all been hard at work to build out differentiated cloud services. Generally this differentiation is focused on better service to deliver on four nines availability targeting those customers whose applications are "growing up" to become meaningful businesses. Most new offerings for 2014 emphasize database cloud services and Flash storage price/performance offerings (see recent announcements from GoGrid and RackSpace). We've certainly seen interest ramping from AWS customers looking for cloud database alternatives as their business as we summarized here.

This is great news for cloud customers in 2014. While it may be impossible for those providers to catch up with AWS on pure cost and developer-centric agility, developers will now have a vibrant set of alternatives, and providers will compete on customer service as well as price points for premium infrastructure. After all, do we really want cloud computing to be about a return to a Microsoft-like monopoly? 

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About the Author

Robin Purohit is the chief executive officer of Clustrix. He has held senior executive positions at VERITAS, Mercury, and most recently, at HP's three-billion-dollar portfolio of IT Management, Information Management, and Application Security products as VP/General Manager. Under Robin's leadership, these companies have seen rapid growth in several new product categories, including clustering, IT automation, and storage networking. Robin has led more than 20 acquisitions and three successful exits of VERITAS to Symantec (2005), Mercury to HP (2007), and CANSTAR Communications to HP (1994). Robin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering/Physics from the University of Waterloo.

Published Thursday, December 05, 2013 6:41 AM by David Marshall
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