Overview of the Super Database Computer (SDC-I)

Masaru KITSUREGAWA  Weikang YANG  Satoshi HIRANO  Masanobu HARADA  Minoru NAKAMURA  Kazuhiro SUZUKI  TaKayuki TAMURA  Mikio TAKAGI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E77-C   No.7   pp.1023-1031
Publication Date: 1994/07/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Issue on Super Chip for Intelligent Integrated Systems)
parallel machine,  relational database,  SQL,  parallel algorithm,  

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This paper presents an overview of the SDC-I (Super Database Computer I) developed at the University of Tokyo, Japan. The purpose of the project was to build a high performance SQL server which emphasizes query processing over transaction processing. Recently relational database systems tend to be used for heavy decision support queries, which include many join, aggregation, and order-by operations. At present high-end mainframes are used for these applications requiring several hours in some cases. While the system architecture for high traffic transaction processing systems is well established, that for adhoc query processing has not yet adequately understood. SDC-I proved that a parallel machine could attain significant performance improvements over a coventional sequential machine through the exploitation of the high degree of parallelism present in relational query processing. A unique bucket spreading parallel hash join algorithm is employed in SDC, which makes the system very robust in the presense of data skew and allows SDC to attain almost linear performance scalability. SDC adopts a hybrid parallel architecture, where globally it is a shared nothing architecture, that is, modules are connected through the multistage network, but each module itself is a symmetric multiprocessor system. Although most of the hardware elements use commodity microprocessors for improved performance to cost, only the interconnection network incorporates the special function to support our parallel relational algorithm. Data movement over the memory and the network, rather than computation, is heavy for I/O intensive database processing. A dedicated software system was carefully designed for efficient data movement. The implemented prototype consists of two modules. Its hardware and software organization is described. The performance monitoring tool was developed to visualize the system activities, which showed that SDC-I works very efficiently.