Montreal firm updates database management system

Montreal-based Sand Technology Inc. will release in September the latest iteration of its column-oriented database management system, Sand CDBMS 6, the primary focus of which is the cloud scalability for managing workloads, said the company’s chief operating officer.

While it’s great to be able to move workloads to the cloud, most customers are adopting cloud computing with little thought to how they will dynamically allocate resources, said Mike Pilcher, COO of Sand Technology.

There are a lot of people talking about massively parallel editions and lots of people talk about the cloud,” said Pilcher, adding that scalability doesn’t factor into the discussion.  Nominate someone you work with for a ComputerWorld Canada IT Leadership Award
Customers operating 24/7 at the global level, for instance, will need the ability to shift processing capacity to certain regions at certain times, said Pilcher.


Other new functionality include enhanced data security and privacy options in response to the fact that data security is a popular hurdle to cloud adoption, said Pilcher. The idea is that new data encryption algorithms allows for external and internal attacks while also meeting PCI standards.

The new version also includes mobile computing support so IT admins can deploy the Sand technology on a laptop and manage data flow to and from the cloud by creating local personal data marts on portable devices. Pilcher said the ability to manage data flow in incremental updates is important given bandwidth can be unreliable.

“You’re passing a terabyte of data up and down the wire … the cloud doesn’t move quickly enough to be able to put the terabyte of data up and down,” said Pilcher.

Other new functionality include advanced text search blended into standard SQL commands; a more cost-efficient technique for high-performance joins; and new mathematical functions for complex data mining.

“(Overall), it’s all about pushing data out into the ether and will ensuring it is secure and ensuring despite bandwidth concerns you can still get access to it,” said Pilcher.

George Goodall, senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Ltd., said there is a change underway in how databases have been traditionally structured given data growth and certain technologies gaining in popularity.

“Developments like cloud computing and an exploding volume of retained data present challenges to existing database models,” said Goodall. “Analytics poses a particularly challenging problem.”

Moreover, Goodall thinks that Sand Technologies is playing an “interesting game and the stakes can be high as demonstrated by EMC’s recent acquisition of Greenplum.” EMC Corp. announced in July it will acquire Greenplum, a data warehouse vendor whose technology analyzes large data volumes by breaking it up across many databases for faster performance.

Sand CDBMS 6 will be generally available September 2010.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau 

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