Day One at PGEast 11

Mar 23, 2011 / By John Scoles

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I guess I brought the snow with me to New York as I awoke to a nice 10cm dump. Anyway today would best be described as a day of ‘Disruptive Tech’

I first attended Kevin Kempters intro into PorstgreSQL High Availability. A very well balanced presentation that gave a very good overview of what is available out of the box for both Warm Standbys and Hot Standbys how they can be very easily implemented. He also gave a quick overview of other tools that can be used including Slony for detailed fail-overs and PgPool for load balancing and relication. Not very disruptive but it does show that Pg is on par with most of the heavy hitters such as MySQL and Oracle.

The keynote this year was by Ed Boyajian the CEO or EnerpriseDB and he gave an big picture of the DB in terms of market which is a whopping 26$ Billion a year in the US alone of which the the two five players have 90% of the market one having more than half.

He made the comparison between his time at Red Hat when there was a huge untapped market much the same situation exists today for PostgreSQL as it represents a ‘Disruptive player’ in the game is it is the last open source DB out there. In other words we can only grow in the future.

To continue on with my Disruptive theme I also attended B. W. McAdams and Justin Dearing’ s two talks on Mongo. Mongo is true disruptive technology as it is a NON-SQL Database. For an old timer relational chap I was a little skeptical. It is hard to thing of a DB without SQL, Schema, Joints or triggers but they made a good case for it. It is all a question of building the correct tool for the Job. Traditional relational DB where never intended to be used to create Blog web sites and as many of us have found out they might not be the ‘right’ tool. Mongo with its ‘Document’ orientation solves many of the ‘Blog’ problems very elegantly. Mongo is just not for Blogs both speakers gave a number of examples of its application for example in a quickie app that displays the nearest Subway station to you and one that acts as the cache for a large PostgreSQL DB

I also has to pleasure to hear a first time speaker Vanessa Hurst who presented on the topic of ORMs (Object Relational Mappers) and the problems they cause for DBs. It was good to hear some of these issues and she made the very good point that it is always a compromise between speed to market and long term goals. You might get an ORM db out in two months but in one year form now your DB may not work anymore because of single object files, lack of planning for scalability or just poor design that was forced upon the team from the ORM.

Well off to enjoy the ‘Le Comte Ory’ at the Met for me tonight

Cheers

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