Return of the Database Machines? Towards a Hardware-Software Approach for High-performance Databases (Jignesh Patel)

Event Date: Thursday March 30, 2023
Event Time: 01:00pm EDT
Location: NSH 4305
Speaker: Jignesh Patel [INFO]

Title: Return Of The Database Machines? Towards A Hardware-Software Approach For High-performance Databases

Analytic database applications have an insatiable appetite for higher performance. In the past, a large part of this appetite was met by leveraging the gift of Moore’s Law. However, the slowing down of Moore’s Law now requires a new approach. Fortunately, the hardware landscape is currently undergoing a Cambrian explosion of new architectures. In this talk, I will describe how one class of architecture may provide part of the answer to our search for future high-performance database systems. This architecture closely integrates compute and storage, making it a promising candidate for accelerating database analytic workloads. Nevertheless, achieving high performance requires a true hardware-software co-design strategy. I will explain how such a strategy requires critical changes on both the hardware and software sides. This talk will also highlight how there are rich opportunities in redesigning core database kernels to work with a broader class of hardware by considering circuit-level parallelism that is present in abundance in most computing substrates. Finally, I will look back five decades to the early days of the database field when a similar co-design approach (then known as database machines) prevailed and explore how that history can provide valuable insights for the future.

Jignesh Patel is a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also holds an affiliate position in the Biostatistics and Medical Informatics department. His research interests are in data management systems. His papers have been selected as the best papers in several top database venues, including SIGMOD and VLDB. He is a fellow of the AAAS, the ACM, and the IEEE organizations. Additionally, he has won teaching awards at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan. He has a keen interest in technology transfer from university research and has spun off four startups from his research group. At Wisconsin, he has also co-founded entrepreneurship organizations at both the department and university levels to help other entrepreneurs.

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