Bill McColl has a post over at his blog commenting on the end of the era of the RDBMS for storing and, more importantly, analyzing large stores of data. In the post he discusses some of the major alternative data projects and makes this observation
Like the H-Store team, I too advocate that we get away from the legacy grip of SQL and instead start using much simpler and more powerful “little languages”, derived from mainstream programming languages, as the basis for our processing of both stored data and live data. Well designed domain-specific embedded languages (DSELs) will enable us to provide users not only with cleaner abstractions that are easier to learn and to use effectively, but also with implementations that are much more scalable, and higher performance.
This post is timely in that I just interviewed the folks at Pervasive software on their DataRush product, an interesting effort to create a portable, very high performance data analytics engine outside of an RDBMS by exploiting single-socket (really single address space) parallelism. Results so far are impressive. Look for an article in HPCwire over the next few weeks with more details.