Astronomers’ tools

5 years ago, on December 19, 2013, the ESA launched an orbital telescope called Gaia. Learn more about the Gaia mission on the official website of the European Space Agency or in the article by Vitaly Egorov (Billion pixels for a billion stars).

However, few people know what technology the agency chose for storing and processing the data collected by Gaia. Two years before the launch, in 2011, the developers were considering a number of candidates (see “Astrostatistics and Data Mining” by Luis Manuel Sarro, Laurent Eyer, William O’Mullane, Joris De Ridder, pp. 111-112):

Comparing the technologies side-by-side produced the following results (source):

Technology Time
DB2 13min55s
PostgreSQL 8 14min50s
PostgreSQL 9 6min50s
Hadoop 3min37s
Cassandra 3min37s
Caché 2min25s

The first four will probably sound familiar even to schoolchildren. But what is Caché XEP?

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