Database Management

Daytona Database Management System and Cymbal

The Daytona™ database management system is a DBMS that was developed by AT&T to handle their database that contains call data. AT&T’s Hawkeye database runs on “two HP Integrity Itanium Superdome partitions running HP-UX”. It is said that this system can handle very large amounts of data. This is in the 100s of terabytes range. It is also noteworthy that the system runs 24/7, 365 days a year. It is said that the system has no downtime. The beauty of this system is how it uses compression. On AT&T’s research website they discuss the largest table in their database:

“As of Sept 14, 2005, the largest one of these tables contained 743 billion records whose average (compressed) length was 52.2 bytes. This 52.2 bytes uncompresses on average to a uncompressed format measuring 216 bytes, implying an expansion factor of 4:1 . (This uncompressed format is essentially a human-readable ASCII format.) This compressed table takes up 38.8 terabytes; clearly it is much better to buy 38.8 terabytes of disk than 159 terabytes. In all, this partition contains 1.026 trillion records.” The Daytona system offers everything you would get in a system like Oracle or DB2 but it handles very large amounts of data with ease. The secret to Daytona’s success is in the compression. The reason AT&T’s system isn’t larger or using more disk space is because they ran out of data to put into the database.

Cymbal™ is a 4th generation language that was also developed by AT&T. Cymbal is a “high level query language” that handles large amounts of data using compression. It also contains a subset of SQL. Using this language with their Daytona system they can execute complicated queries in just a few minutes. Using another package you may be waiting until the next day to get information from your system.


Daytona, [1]