A very large database has no minimum absolute size. Although a VLDB is a database like smaller databases, there are specific challenges in managing a VLDB. These challenges are related to the sheer size and the cost-effectiveness of performing operations against a system of that size.
Several trends have been responsible for the steady growth in database size:
For a long time, systems have been developed in isolation. Companies have started to see the benefits of combining these systems to enable cross-departmental analysis while reducing system maintenance costs. Consolidation of databases and applications is a key factor in the ongoing growth of database size.
Many companies face regulations for storing data for a minimum amount of time. The regulations generally result in more data being stored for longer periods of time.
Companies grow by expanding sales and operations or through mergers and acquisitions, causing the amount of generated and processed data to increase. At the same time, the user population that relies on the database for daily activities increases.
Partitioning is a critical feature for managing very large databases. Growth is the basic challenge that partitioning addresses for very large databases, and partitioning enables a divide and conquer technique for managing the tables and indexes in the database, especially as those tables and indexes grow. Partitioning is the feature that allows a database to scale for very large data sets while maintaining consistent performance, without unduly increasing administrative or hardware resources. Partitioning for Availability_ Manageability_ and Performance provides availability, manageability, and performance considerations for partitioning implementations.
Backing Up and Recovering VLDBs addresses the challenges surrounding backup and recovery for a VLDB.
Storage is a key component of a very large database. Storage Management for VLDBs focuses on best practices for storage in a VLDB.