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November 2020, Vol. 18, No. 4

Lines blur between structured and unstructured data storage

Once upon a time, organizations stored structured data in relational -- or sometimes NoSQL -- databases, and unstructured data in object storage systems like Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage. This distinction between structured and unstructured data storage has become less pronounced, however, and is having a significant impact on how organizations store, query and manage structured data. The reason for this shift is the advent of platforms like Presto. A free and open source query engine, Presto and its ilk enable the use of low-cost object stores to persist data while still making it accessible through structured data access tools like SQL. Let's consider a basic data warehouse populated with data from several online transaction processing systems, such as sales, inventory and fulfillment management systems. The basic data warehouse Data is extracted from these systems at regular intervals. It is then transformed and restructured for use in the data warehouse. The transformed data may be written directly to the data warehouse...

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