I first heard and blogged about Vertica back in January 2005 and was very excited to see what Michael Stonebraker was going to introduce to the world this time. He’s pretty much the father of the modern relational database, having been a part of many companies in the industry throughout the years.
His latest work has been on C-Store, a “column-oriented DBMS” developed amongst the Massachusetts tech. universities. It is being released as open source software under one of my favorite licenses, the BSD license.
It’s exciting to finally see a column-oriented DBMS released as open source. The concept is nothing new. Sybase IQ was doing this commercially over 10 years ago, before 1995 when it acquired Expressway:
Sybase IQ is based on technology that Sybase acquired when it purchased Expressway in 1995. However, it was not until the release of version 12.0 in 1999 that the product really came to its present level of maturity.
It’s clearly in the Sybase IQ documentation, “When you load data into a table, Sybase IQ stores data by column rather than by row, for each column in the table.” I’m guessing, without having looked at their implementation, that C-Store does things differently than IQ, but the underlying premise sounds the same.