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Summary:

A new open-source project called Postgres-XL is pushing scale-out and MPP capabilities for the popular database. Postgres-XL is the product of a database vendor called TransLattice and is based on technology it acquired from StormDB in October.

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Database software company TransLattice has rebuilt the popular PostgreSQL database as a clustered system designed for handling large datasets. The open-source product, called Postgres-XL, is designed to be just like regular Postgres, only more scalable and also functional as a massively parallel analytic database.

Postgres-XL is the fruit of TransLattice’s acquisition of a startup called StormDB in October. TransLattice’s primary product, a geographically distributed relational database called the TransLattice Elastic Database, is also based on Postgres. TransLattice Co-founder and CEO Frank Huerta told said that some of the capabilities of Postgres-XL — such as the analytic ones — will make their way the flagship database, but that the real goal of Postgres-XL is to build a community around the idea of scale-out Postgres.

“Anything we can do to help base Postgres … we benefit from,” he said.

Mason Sharp, the founder of StormDB and now TransLattice chief architect, said that apart from scalability, Postgres-XL provides a level of multi-tenant security beyond what standard Postgres offers.

Postgres-XL is among a handful of recent attempts to turn Postgres into a more fully functional database. Platform-as-a-service provider Heroku (which is part of Salesforce.com) has been rolling out all sorts of new features for its Heroku Postgres service. Another database startup, Citus Data, has built a columnar store to Postgres for faster analytic queries, and has previously enabled Postgres users to query data stores such as Hadoop and MongoDB using SQL.