Greenplum Adds Column-Oriented Table Feature to Greenplum Database

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Greenplum's Polymorphic Data Storage™ technology provides customers with flexibility to choose row- or column-oriented processing model

Greenplum Software, the pioneer of Enterprise Data Cloud™ solutions for large-scale data warehousing and analytics, today announced general availability of the 3.3.4 release of Greenplum Database. This release introduces support for column-oriented tables, allowing users the flexibility to select row- or column-oriented processing for any table. Users simply specify 'orientation=row' or 'orientation=column' when creating a table. In either case the database efficiently pushes down column projection and fully parallelizes table scan and query processing. Both row- and column-oriented tables allow a range of compression settings - from light/fast through to deep/archival, and utilize industry-standard gzip and LZ compression algorithms.

The flexibility to support both row- and column-oriented tables within the same database is entirely due to Greenplum's innovative Polymorphic Data Storage™ technology. This technology enables the database to transparently abstract the details of any table or partition, allowing for a wide variety of underlying storage and execution models. Benefits include:

  • The ability to support row- and column-oriented tables in the same database, with unrestricted ability to join these tables efficiently
  • Support for a wide range of compression levels - from light/fast through to deep/archival
  • The ability to tune the storage types and compression settings of different partitions within the same table; e.g. A single partitioned table could have older data stored as 'column-oriented with deep/archival compression', more recent data stored as 'column-oriented with fast/light compression', and the most recent data stored as 'read/write optimized' to support fast updates and deletes.

"Lab testing shows that row orientation works better for general purpose data warehousing, while column orientation tests better when it comes to accessing a small number of columns from a wide table, like with certain data mining use cases," said Luke Lonergan, co-founder and CTO of Greenplum. "Rather than take a side, we now give customers the flexibility of both within the Greenplum Database."

About Greenplum Software

Greenplum Software is the pioneer of Enterprise Data Cloud™ distributed system solutions for large-scale data warehousing and analytics, providing customers with next-generation database capabilities including multi-petabyte scale on commodity hardware, elastic expansion and self-service provisioning, and massively parallel analytic processing. Data-driven businesses around the world, including NASDAQ OMX, NYSE Euronext, Reliance Communications, eBay and Fox Interactive Media/MySpace, have adopted the Greenplum Database to support their mission-critical business functions. For more information visit


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