CitusDB Releases An Open-Source PostgreSQL Tool That Promises Better Database Performance

CitusDB, a database analytics startup that is hoping to take on big boys like Oracle, today announced the release of CSTORE, a columnar store extension for PostgreSQL. The open-source tool, which the company says is the first for PostgreSQL, is available for a free download starting today.

“Columnar stores bring notable benefits for analytic workloads where data is loaded in batches,” said the company in a blog post. That means that companies using this tool could get much better database performance. How much better? CitusDB claims a 2x increase in query times and a data read reduction time of 10x. What’s more, company CEO Umur Cubukcu said in an email that faster analytics queries through advanced optimizations and ~3x compression could drive down storage costs.

“The column store is available on both single node (all standard PostgreSQL users) and scale-out PostgreSQL (CitusDB) for petabyte scale analytics,” Cubukcu explained. The latter is designed to work with the core CitusDB product, but users can download the new tool and use it as they see fit.

Cubukcu says overall this tool offers a couple of advantages. First, users can work with row-based and column-based tables together in the same database based on their usage patterns, he explained to me. And second: “This builds on Citus Data’s approach of merging the reliable enterprise features of PostgreSQL with the scalability of Hadoop; offering big data analytics customers worldwide a simple and powerful analytics database.”

In fact, CitusDB announced version 3.0 of its core product at the end of February.

The company emerged in 2011 from Y Combinator and released version 1.0 of the product in June 2012. Alex Williams described the company’s February 2013 release for TechCrunch this way: “CitusDB is based on Google Dremel, a real-time analytics database that has surpassed Hadoop’s analysis capabilities. The difference is in its parallel-computing capabilities and SQL-like functionality. Do a query across petabytes of data over thousands of servers and the results come back in real-time.”

CitusDB has received $1.65 million in funding to date from investors, including Data Collective, Bullpen Capital, SV Angel, Trinity Ventures and leading angels. Customers cross verticals including ad technology, e-commerce, retail, security and mobile analytics.

The new tool is available on GitHub starting today and they are hoping the community will help build on this and add new features to it over time.

Image by Flickr user tec_estromberg under a CC BY 2.0 license