Orca: A Modular Query Optimizer Architecture for Big Data

December 2, 2016


The performance of analytical query processing in data management systems depends primarily on the capabilities of the system’s query optimizer. Increased data volumes and heightened interest in processing complex analytical queries prompted Pivotal to build a new query optimizer.

In this paper we present the architecture of Orca, the new query optimizer for all Pivotal data management products, including Pivotal Greenplum. Orca is a comprehensive development uniting state-of-the-art query optimization technology with Pivotal’s own original research resulting in a modular and portable optimizer architecture.

In addition to describing the overall architecture, we highlight several unique features and present performance comparisons against other systems.

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