F1 Database from Google: A scalable distributed SQL database


This world is a sphere. We keep going round and round. After a great hype around the NoSQL highly distributed databases, now Google presented a paper on how they have implemented a SQL based highly scalable database for supporting their “AdWords” business in 39th VLDB conference.

The news item: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/30/google_f1_deepdive/
and the paper: http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/research.google.com/en/us/pubs/archive/41344.pdf

The key changes I liked:
1. Heirarchically clustered physical schema model: I always thought heighrarchical model is more suited for real life application than a pure relational model. This implementations is proving it.

2. Protocol Buffers: Columns allowing structured types. It saves a lot of ORM style conversions when moving data from a storage to in-memory and vice versa.

A quote from the paper’s conclusion:

In recent years, conventional wisdom in the engineering community has been that if you need a highly scalable, high-throughput data store, the only viable option is to use a NoSQL key/value store, and to work around the lack of ACID transactional guarantees and the lack of conveniences like secondary indexes, SQL, and so on. When we sought a replacement for Google’s MySQL data store for the Ad-Words product, that option was simply not feasible: the complexity of dealing with a non-ACID data store in every part of our business logic would be too great, and there was simply no way our business could function without SQL queries.

So, ACID is needed and SQL is essential for running the businesses! Have a nice weekend!!


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