Database automation and appliances

10 years ago IT professionals considered database technology “mature” and analysts were preparing to slide it into a commodity status… But on the Exabyte era, we depend on databases to run packaged applications, custom solutions, end customer data storage and the web itself.

  • Managing hundreds of TBs continues a challenge to traditional software-only solutions
  • Reference architectures deliver specialized fine tuning to specific workloads, e.g. Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse 2.0 can alleviate the problem on the majority of the organizations
  • IBM, Britton-Lee, Netezza and most recently Oracle have participated as database machine vendors. There are niche markets for building special-purpose computer hardware for specialized workloads. None of them has delivered a long-term solution.
  • During the last 12 months there has been growing activity on database appliances: XML database appliances, database security sniffer appliances and those announced by vendors to create private clouds. Some of them for the very large database, some of them for analytics on smaller markets.


The new delivery model for information management will include embedded, in-premise, cloud, software appliances, hardware appliances and database machines. A big task is ahead, evaluating the benefits and limitations of each model on deployment, isolation, extensibility, etc.  Higher level automation is knocking on the door… but a lot more DBAs will be required to manage the Exaflood.