Sybase Evolves The IQ Column-Store Database
Sybase IQ from SAP's Sybase business unit was the very first column-store database management system and it remains the top seller with more than 2,000 customers. Sybase says IQ version 15.3, released this summer, can handle more data, more data types, more queries, and more users thanks to a new PlexQ massively parallel processing option. PlexQ is a grid of CPU processing power--deployed on third-party, commodity hardware--that's said to deliver 12 times faster performance compared with existing IQ deployments.
To support diverse analyses, 15.3 adds distributed processing capabilities to execute queries across multiple CPUs in the PlexQ grid. To ensure fastest querying, PlexQ also includes a Logical Servers feature that lets administrators assign virtual clusters of server capacity to specific users, departments, or queries.
A key difference between Sybase IQ and most other MPP-capable products is that it remains a shared-everything, rather than shared-nothing environment. The downside of shared everything is that processors can compete to access the shared pool of storage (usually a storage-area network), and that contention can degrade query performance. But Sybase insists shared-everything is more flexible in terms of query optimization because all the CPUs have access to all the data, so you can direct as much or as little processing power as required toward specific queries.