Databases and Hardware: The Beginning and Sequel of a Beautiful Friendship
Fast query and transaction processing is the goal of 40 years of database research and the reason of existence for many new database system architectures. In data management, system performance means acceptable response time and throughput on critical-path operations, ideally with scalability guarantees. Performance is improved with top-of-the line research on data processing algorithms; efficiency, however, is contingent on seamless collaboration between the database software and hardware and storage devices. In 1980, the goal was to minimize disk accesses; in 2000, memory replaced disks in terms of access costs. Nowadays performance is synonymous to scalability; scalability, in turn, translates into sustainable and predictable use of hardware resources in the face of embarrassing parallelism and deep storage hierarchies while minimizing energy needs - a challenging goal in multiple dimensions. We discuss work done in the past four decades to tighten the interaction between the database software and underlying hardware and show that, as application and microarchitecture roadmaps evolve, the effort of maintaining smooth collaboration blossoms into a multitude of interesting research avenues with direct technological impact.
Record created on 2015-09-11, modified on 2016-08-09