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This paper presents our experiences in porting the Sloan Digital Sky Survey(SDSS)/ SkyServer to the state-of- the-art open source database system MonetDB/SQL. SDSS acts as a well-documented benchmark for scientific database management. We have achieved a fully functional prototype for the personal SkyServer, to be downloaded from our site. The lessons learned are 1) the column store approach of MonetDB demonstrates a great potential in the world of scientific databases. However, the application also challenged the functionality of our implementation and revealed that a fully operational SQL environment is needed, e.g. including persistent stored modules; 2) the initial performance is competitive to the reference platform, MS SQL Server 2005, and 3) the analysis of SDSS query traces hints at several techniques to boost performance by utilizing repetitive behavior and zoom-in/zoom-out access patterns, that are currently not captured by the system.
Date of Conference: 9-11 July 2007