IBM has been talking about Big Data in reference to Informix for several years ever since someone realized that the TimeSeries Datablade capabilities of Informix, developed in the mid '90s, is quite literally about very big data. However, some members of the Informix user community have taken IBM to task pointing out that when folks talk about Big Data they are usually discussing unstructured data stored in NoSQL databases like Hadoop, MongoDB, and others. So, what did you miss?
Informix is now the ONLY database that successfully integrates unstructured and structured data together in a single database platform. Working with the developers of MongoDB, IBM has integrated MongoDB's BSON data type into IDS as a native type and implemented the MongoDB interface protocols within Informix. You can now do the following:
- Store MongoDB collections in Informix as BSON types.
- Query both MongoDB collections and Informix relational tables in Informix from both MongoDB clients and Informix clients.
- Mongo clients see collection formatted key:value data from collections and from tables.
- Informix clients see data rows from tables and collections. Missing collection fields are mapped to NULL values.
- Dynamic Informix clients can determine the current schema of collection data.
- Shard tables and collections across multiple servers. Not only can you query the data across the shard farm but when you insert data to sharded tables or collections the local server determines which shard the data should live on based on the definition of the various shards. This is VERY similar to the horizontal partitioning that Informix's old XPS engine provided.
- All data, including Mongo collection data, is included in Informix's ACID compliant transaction handling! No one else can guarantee consistency in a NoSQL data store!
- Informix compression works with MongoDB data. Because of the redundant key names inherent in the key:value nature of collection data compression rates are even more impressive than for table data! Only Informix can save you 70-90% of the storage you would otherwise use for unstructured data in any other MongoDB or similar NoSQL database!
- Timeseries data
- GeoSpacial data
- BTS web-like text search capability
- Informix Warehouse Accelerator to improve complex query times by 100x to 4000x!
- Hierarchical Data Replication Secondary server (active or passive).
- Multiple Remote Secondary replicated servers (active or passive).
- Active or passive Shared Disk Secondary servers for load balancing, application isolation, and nearly instantaneous failover.
- Transaction survival - failover primary server functions to a secondary without loss of running transactions. This means absolutely uninterruptable transactions!
- Enterprise Replication
- Multiple peer replicated servers on heterogeneous hardware
- Master-Slave replication in both Scatter and Gather configuration
- Combine with Sharded Query capability to maintain local data on local servers but query from a central location without a master copy
To wrap up: Informix is now positioned to be what its users have always considered it to be: The best damn database product on the market! This should finally satisfy a certain community member based in Chicago who is usually rather vocal about Big Data.