I’ve been watching all these come-lately DW/BI technologies for a while now-especially the ever-so-highly-revered “appliances.” I’m also interested in columnar orientation as my past posts on columnar technology (e.g., columnar technology I, columnar technology II) will attest.
Rows and Columns, or Columns and Rows?
I don’t know, because in that famed Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer style, these things confuse me. However, Stuart Frost, CEO of DATAllegro, puts it this way in his fledgling blog:
At the end of the day, column orientation is just one approach to limiting the amount of data read for a given query. In effect, it’s an extreme form of vertical partitioning of the data. In modern row-oriented systems such as DATAllegro, we use sophisticated horizontal partitioning to limit the number of rows read for each query.
Clue’isms are Truisms
Huh? “Sophisticated horizontal partitioning?” Now that is a novel approach. And if all I want to scan is a column or two with Oracle, I’ll create an index. Is it really that much more complicated than that? An index is columnar representation after all. Heck, I could even partition that “columnar representation” with a sophisticated horizontal partitioning technology (that has been in Oracle sing the early 1990s) to further reduce the data ingestion cost.
Indexes == Anathema
Oops, I should wash my mouth out with soap. After all, the “appliances” shall save you from the torment of creating a few indexes, right? Well, maybe not. The term of the day is “Index-Light Appliance.”
So I have to ask, what if I were to implement an Oracle-based data warehouse that used, say, 5 indexes. Would that be an Index-Light approach?
Oracle is taking steps to make the configuration of hardware for a DW/BI deployment a bit simpler. If you haven’t yet seen it, the Optimized Warehouse Initiative is worth investigating.