The database frontier

Jay’s opening lines regarding the final MySQL Conference keynote speaker was: “I work with a lot of data. I think peta-bytes, maybe exa-bytes”. This was relating to Jacek Becla from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, giving his presentation on “The Science and Fiction of Petascale Analytics”.

The goal of the Large Synoptics Survey Telescope (LSST) is the storage of 50+ PB of images and 20+ PB data.
Let’s just clarify the size. 20 PB of data = 20 years of HD Movies = 2000 years of 128kb MP3

The next database frontier is obviously building huge databases. What part will MySQL or other relational databases play? Some interesting facts were.

  • The Digital Universe Created 161 Exabytes of data last year.
  • Google, processes 20 petabytes of data per day.

The Operational plan for LSST Project Timeline is 10 years, only starting in 2014. The timeline:

  • 2009 Choosing Technology
  • 2010-2014 constructions
  • 2014-2023 production

The primary goals are: Scale, parallelize, fault tolerant.


  1. Fran says

    I agree with Arjen, maybe such vast amounts of data will maybe push relational
    databases beyond their real limits (of course, rdbms are going to keep
    Without getting too “googly” :-] I think the future of massive data processing
    will involve drastic architectural reengineering in terms of data
    (de)structutration and paralelization.