I would describe this as a hybrid engine as it provides an interface to an existing DBMS and is tightly integrated with the existing DBMS. By comparison, the Federated storage engine also provides an interface to an existing DBMS, but is not tightly integrated. The integration should greatly increase usability and performance. Performance can be further improved by adding support for condition pushdown for MySQL 5.1 and by implementing the batch key access interface when the engine is available in MySQL 6.
A few more comments:
- My favorite line from the wikipedia page is on the System i everything is an object. Profound.
- Where is the storage engine independent test suite that makes it easy to test new engine? The current suite is hardwired to use MyISAM and InnoDB for most tests.
- Where is the virtual machine image that will allow us to try out System i with MySQL and the new engine using our Mac/Win/Linux boxes?