Barry Morris

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The world runs on transactional database systems. Every business depends on them, and we each interact with them many times each day. Furthermore the world needs to build thousands more applications of transactional database systems to support the next-generation web. Nothing controversial there, but there is a problem: transactional database systems have stubbornly refused to join the 21st century. The rest of the world is moving toward data center architectures predicated on thousands of commodity machines, commodity networks, and "scale-out" designs. These data centers will offer on-demand computing services that can instantly increase or decrease capacity to applications as needed. It's easy to just add more web servers, application servers, or storage servers as required. Unfortunately while that works at every other level in the computing stack it does not wo... (more)

Can We Finally Find the Database Holy Grail? | Part 2

In Part One of this three part series I talked about distributed transactional databases being the Holy Grail of database systems. Among other things the promise of such systems is to provide on-demand capacity, continuous availability and geographically distributed operation. But the historical approaches to building distributed transactional databases have involved unacceptable trade-offs, and as a result general purpose databases systems predicated on a single-server architecture have dominated the industry for decades. In our quest for the Holy Grail of databases we acknowle... (more)

Can We Finally Find the Database Holy Grail? | Part 3

In my first post in this three part series I talked about the need for distributed transactional databases that scale-out horizontally across commodity machines, as compared to traditional transactional databases that employ a "scale-up" design.  Simply adding more machines is a quicker, cheaper and more flexible way of increasing database capacity than forklift upgrades to giant steam-belching servers. It also brings the promise of continuous availability and of geo-distributed operation. The second post in this series provided an overview of the three historical approaches to ... (more)