I like this challenge, given that 50X is likely to be able to make impact, where 2-4X in general can be easily compensated for by the next generation hardware. But something bugs me about the challenge and also about some of the demonstrations in the papers; 50X is still focused on scaling-up, just as many of the current database systems do, instead of scaling out, which is what the world really needs. The evidence in the paper is indeed about single box performance. This continuing N=1 thinking will never yield systems that can break through the current scalability limitations of enterprise software, regardless whether it runs 50 times faster or not.
I couldn't agree more. It's exciting to see so many people arguing for new kinds of databases, especially distributed databases. Why do I hate on relational databases? It's not the relational part, it's the part where they fail at 3am and wake me up. Joins are nice but I need my beauty sleep.
# — 29 September, 2007