Sybase IQ updated for parallel processing

Sybase joins Microsoft in offering a database to run on a massively parallel processing architecture

Database vendor Sybase is upgrading its column-oriented database, Sybase IQ, to run on a massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture.

The company announced the beta of the new Sybase IQ, version 15.3, on Tuesday, the same day that Microsoft announced an MPP-based data warehouse version of its own SQL Server database, SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse.

Sybase's MPP architecture would be ideally suited for those organizations that need faster query response times from large data sets, said Kevin Leong, Sybase senior product manager. The parallel architecture allows a data set to split up across multiple servers to increase response time. Telecommunications firms, financial trading firms and governments should take a close look at the technology, he said.

Sybase's MPP architecture will use the company's PlexQ Distributed Query Platform. PlexQ uses what is commonly called a shared-everything design, meaning that each node in the system can share memory, processing and disk space with other nodes, Leong said. Previous versions of Sybase IQ designs could be used in clusters, but did not have a shared-everything approach.

This technique allows the platform software to balance the workload out across all the nodes. "You can buy multiple boxes, put them in a grid, and now your query can be spread across them," Leong said. "Incoming queries do not need to be queued behind a long-running, complex query."

The new version of Sybase's software will also include resource provisioning, allowing an administrator to carve out a subset of the system, called a logical image, for specific tasks.

Sybase IQ is a column-oriented database, one that distributes all the data of a single entry across different columns, rather than writing all the data elements across a single row, the traditional approach. Column-oriented databases can speed analysis in data warehouses, advocates claim.

Microsoft's beta release of the next generation SQL Server, code named Denali, will also include column-oriented data storage.

Users can now download and test the 15.3 beta. The full production release of Sybase 15.3 will probably be available in the first half of 20111, assuming all goes well with the beta version, Leong said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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