NuoDB, ParElastic Racing to Build Database Systems of the Future

10/23/12Follow @gthuang

It ain’t exactly Microsoft vs. Oracle circa 2000, but the Boston area has its own little database war going on.

I’m talking about NuoDB vs. ParElastic. What, you haven’t heard of either one? Well, that’s because they’re working on the world’s next big database system. And you probably haven’t heard of that either, because it doesn’t fully exist yet.

OK, this is all just a subset of what’s happening in database technology—and, more broadly, in the infrastructure subsector of “big data”—but it’s a pretty important problem these companies are trying to solve. (You can catch NuoDB and ParElastic on the same panel at our “Future of Big Data” conference in Boston tomorrow.)

For decades, the relational database technology of giants like IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft has been dominant in industry because it’s been good enough. But now the tide seems to be turning. Data centers and virtualization systems have become commoditized, so essentially there are lots of small machines crunching information rather than a few big mainframes.

Plus, as you have probably heard, the amount of data being collected from networks, sensors, mobile devices, and the Web has skyrocketed. And what a database has to do in 2012—handle hundreds of thousands of users, queries, and transactions quickly—is vastly different from what most were designed to do.

Most database companies offer tradeoffs, says NuoDB CEO and co-founder Barry Morris. If you want to handle tons of queries fast, you can’t handle transactions. You can read data quickly, but you’ll write it slowly. You can get business intelligence insights and analytics from historical data, but you can’t run your business day-to-day with the same system.

Unless you try something radically different, that is. … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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  • Jim Roberts

    NuoDB has an ex-database superstar running sales- look out as this could be a game changer alone

  • http://twitter.com/nuodb NUODB

    Please join us for our upcoming NuoDB live launch event, Jan 15, 11am EST. To register, please go to http://www.nuodb.com.