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database machine[′dad·ə‚bās mə‚shēn]
A computer that handles the storage and retrieval of data into and out of a database.
A computer or special hardware that stores and retrieves data from a database. It is specially designed for database access and is coupled to the main (front-end) computer(s) by a high-speed channel. This contrasts with a database server, which is a computer in a local area network that holds a database. The database machine is tightly coupled to the main CPU, whereas the database server is loosely coupled via the network.
database machineA computer system designed for database access. Database machines never caught on until the early 1990s when massively parallel processors (MPPs) from companies such as Teradata (acquired by AT&T), nCube, Thinking Machines and Kendall Square Research, proved the concept. Using hundreds and even thousands of microprocessors with database software designed for parallelism, database machines can scan large files much faster than a mainframe.
Huge performance increases have been documented. For example, a large financial organization reduced 30 days' worth of month-end analysis and reporting to a single day. In other cases, queries have been speeded up by a factor of 100. Database machines using MPP architecture are expected to grow in popularity for decision support systems in large organizations.