Archive for January, 2015

Open Sourced kdb+

In a world overran with open source big data solutions is kdb+ going to be left behind? I hope not…

Every few weeks someone comes to me with a big data problem often with a half-done mongoDB/NoSQL solution that they “want a little help with”. Usually after looking at it I think to myself

“I could solve this in 20 minutes with 5 lines of q code”

But how do I tell someone they should use a system which may end up costing them £1,000s per core in licensing costs. Yes it’s great that there’s a free 32-bit trial version but the risk that you may end up needing the 64-bit is too great a risk.

kdb+ vs mongoDB database popularity

Given the ever-increasing number of NoSQL solutions and in particular the rising popularity of Hadoop, R, python and MongoDB it’s not hard to see that open-source is taking over the world. Right now kdb+ still has the edge, that it’s faster, sleeker, sexier..but I don’t think that will save it in the long run. The power of open-source is that it let’s everyone contribute, witness the 100’s of libraries available for R, the 1000’s of javascript frameworks. The truly sad thing is that it’s not always the best underlying technology that wins. A 1000 amateurs creating a vibrant ecosystem of plug-ins, add-ons, tutorials… can beat other technologies through sheer force of numbers.

  • APL was a great language yet it remains relegated to history while PHP flourishes.
  • PostgreSQL was technically superior to MySQL yet MySQL is deployed everywhere

I believe kdb+ is the best solution to a large number of “big data” problems (small data to kdb+), When you stop and think, time-series data is everywhere, open sourcing kdb+ would open up entirely new sectors to kdb+ and I hope it’s a step kx take before it’s too late.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.