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02 February 2010, 16:09

Free InfiniDB adds data warehouse technology to MySQL

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Zoom In a TPC-H benchmark, InfiniDB is much faster than the other three column-based databases.
Version 1.0 of Calpont‘s InfiniDB is another project that adds analytical tasks such as data mining and business intelligence to the free database, MySQL. The centrepiece of InfiniDB is a column-oriented back end ("engine") . MySQL database 5.1.39 serves as the basis of InfiniDB and comes linked to the back end. Since there is no indication of other storage engines either in the source code or in the InfiniDB documentation, this seems to be a pruned version.

InfiniDB uses a multithreaded architecture to better exploit the capabilities of multicore CPUs. A dedicated loader is provided to greatly accelerate MySQL’s reading of large data volumes, even into the terabyte range. SQL commands, such as UPDATE, INSERT, and ALTER TABLE are available. By abandoning the use of indices, the database in many cases reportedly executes these commands faster than classic MySQL. Furthermore, InfiniDB can handle transactions and Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC) so that read access does not have to be blocked when more than one person is changing data.

The MySQL Performance Blog found that InfiniDB was indeed much faster in a modified TPC-H benchmark than other column-oriented free databases such as Infobright, LucidDB and MonetDB, but it was not tested against the commercial Kickfire, which was also built around MySQL.

In addition to the Community Edition under GPL2, which is available as source code and a binary version for various Linux derivates, Calpont, a Texas-based firm, also offers an Enterprise edition that allows multiple servers to be used simultaneously. Prices for the Enterprise version start at around $12,000.

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