This quarterly publication is a peer-reviewed and archival journal that
covers reconfigurable technology,
systems, and applications on reconfigurable computers. Topics include
all levels of reconfigurable system
abstractions and all aspects of reconfigurable technology including platforms, programming environments
and application successes.
a related collection of things such as
orders or documents.
So you have to have a query language such as XQuery that will be able
to navigate and to ask set-oriented
questions about this new kind of data.
That opens up a different repertoire of
data access techniques and requires
enhancement of the query optimization process. But I think it’s absolutely essential to continue on the path of
automatic query optimization rather
than put programmers back into the
game of understanding exact data
structures and doing the navigation
in the application program manually.
That’s simply cost-prohibitive.
Jh Looking at new optimization
techniques, feedback-directed systems, and dynamic execution time decisions—all significant areas of continuing research—what do you see as
the most important next steps looking
out, say, five years or so?
Ps I think the cost of ownership is
on every customer’s mind, not just because of the economic downturn that
some of them are still in or have just
experienced, but because the cost of
processors, disk space, and memory
are all going down—and the cost of labor is going up.
Furthermore, you have to look at
the ratio of how many administrators you need to take care of a terabyte
worth of data. Unless you can dramatically improve that ratio, as you accumulate more and more terabytes of
data, pretty soon you’re looking at employing half the planet to administer
it. So we are inventing ways to make
administrators capable of handling
20, 100, 1,000 times more data than
they do today.
At the same time, we’re under pressure to incorporate, search, understand, and take advantage of information that’s in this more unstructured
form—email, for example. Companies want to be able to look at email
or customer service files to give their
customers better service, and have to
manage and understand and analyze
more kinds of information. As we look
at what it’s going to take to do that, we
have to change the game in terms of
the cost of organizing, administering,
and searching this data.
Jh I’ve seen two pictures painted of
the future of unstructured data. One of
them has file systems augmented with
search appliances, and another is based
upon an expanding role of structured
stores that are much more flexible and
much more capable of dealing with dynamic schema and content. Is there a
role for file systems and search appliances? Where do you see this playing
Ps I don’t think that any current or
future data storage mechanism will
replace all the others. For example,
there are many cases where file systems are just fine and that’s all you
need, and people are perfectly happy
with that. We have to be able to reach
out to those data sources with a meta-engine that knows how to reach and
access all those different data repositories and understands all the different formats—.jpg, .mpg, .doc—and
knows how to interpret that data.
The notion of an intergalactic-size,
centralized repository is neither reasonable nor practical. You can’t just
say to a customer, “Put all your data
in my repository and I’ll solve all your
problems.” The right answer from my
perspective is that customers will have
their data in a variety of places under a
variety of applications in file systems
and database engines. They’re not going to centralize it in one kind of data
store. That’s just not practical. It’s not
So, file systems will still be around.
They may get enhanced with special
search techniques as we have more capability and processing power in RAID
systems and disk servers, file servers,
“i think the cost
of ownership is on
mind, not just
because of the
the cost of labor
is going up.”