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Trino 2021 Wrapped: A Year of Growth

As we reflect on Trino’s journey in 2021, one thing stands out. Compared to previous years we have seen even further accelerated, tremendous growth. Yes, this is what all these year-in-retrospect blog posts say, but this has some special significance to it. This week marked the one-year anniversary since the project dropped the Presto name and moved to the Trino name. Immediately after the announcement, the Trino GitHub repository started trending in number of stargazers. Up until this point, the PrestoSQL GitHub repository had only amassed 1,600 stargazers in the two years since it had split from the PrestoDB repository. However, within four months after the renaming, the number of stargazers had doubled. GitHub stars, issues, pull requests and commits started growing at a new trajectory.

At the time of writing, we just hit 4,600 stargazers on GitHub. This means, we have grown by over 3,000 stargazers in the last year, a 187% increase. While we are on the subject, let’s talk about the health of the Trino community.

2021 by the numbers

Let’s take a look at the Trino project growth by the numbers:

  • 3679 new commits 💻 in GitHub
  • 3015 new stargazers ⭐ in GitHub
  • 2450 new members 👋 in Slack
  • 1979 pull requests merged ✅ in GitHub
  • 1213 issues 📝 created in GitHub
  • 988 new followers 🐦 on Twitter
  • 525 average weekly members 💬 in Slack
  • 491 new subscribers 📺 in YouTube
  • 23 Trino Community Broadcast ▶️ episodes
  • 17 Trino 🚀 releases
  • 11 blog ✍️ posts
  • 10 Trino 🍕 meetups
  • 1 Trino ⛰️ Summit

Along with the growth we’ve seen in GitHub, we have seen a 47% growth of the Trino Twitter followers this year. The Trino Slack community, where a large amount of troubleshooting and development discussions occur, saw a 75% growth, nearing 6,000 members. Finally, the Trino YouTube channel has seen an impressive 280% growth in subscribers.

A lot of the increase on this channel was due to the Trino Community Broadcast, that brought users and contributors from the community to cover 23 episodes about the following topics:

  • 7 episodes on the Trino ecosystem (dbt, Amundsen, Debezium, Superset)
  • 4 episodes on the Trino project (Renaming Trino, Intro to Trino, Trinewbies)
  • 4 episodes on Trino connectors (Iceberg, Druid, Pinot)
  • 4 episodes on Trino internals (Distributed Hash-Joins, Dynamic Filtering, Views)
  • 2 episodes on Trino using Kubernetes (Trinetes series)
  • 2 episodes on Trino users (LinkedIn, Resurface)

While stargazers, subscribers, episodes, and followers tell the story of the growing awareness of the Trino project with the new name, what about the actual rate of development on the project?

At the start of the year, there were 21,924 commits. This year, we pushed 3,679 commits to the repository, sitting at over 25,600 now. Looking at the graph, this keeps us pretty consistent with 2020’s throughput.

With the project’s trajectory displayed in numbers, let’s examine the top features that landed in Trino this year.

Features

Here’s a high-level list of the most exciting features that made their way into Trino in 2021. For details and to keep up you can check out the release notes.

SQL language improvements

SQL language support is crucial for the increasing complexities of queries and usage of Trino. In 2021 we added numerous new language features and improvements:

  • MATCH_RECOGNIZE a feature that allows for complex analysis across multiple rows. To learn more about this feature watch the Community Broadcast show.
  • WINDOW clause.
  • RANGE and ROWS keyword for usage within a window function.
  • Time travel support and syntax, like FOR VERSION AS OF and FOR TIMESTAMP AS OF.
  • UPDATE is supported.
  • Subquery expressions that return multiple columns. Example: SELECT x = (VALUES (1, 'a')).
  • Add support for ALTER MATERIALIZED VIEWRENAME TO
  • from_geojson_geometry/to_geojson_geometry functions.
  • contains function for checking if a CIDR contains an IP address.
  • listagg function returns concatenated values seperated by a specified separator.
  • soundex function that checks phonetic similarity of two strings.
  • format_number function.
  • SET TIME ZONE to set the current time zone for the session.
  • Arbitrary queries in SHOW STATS.
  • CURRENT_CATALOG and CURRENT_SCHEMA session functions.
  • TRUNCATE TABLE which allows for a more efficient delete.
  • DENY statement, which enables you to remove a user or groups access via SQL.
  • IN <catalog> clause to CREATE ROLE, DROP ROLE, GRANT ROLE, REVOKE ROLE, and SET ROLE to specify the target catalog of the statement instead of using the current session catalog.

Query processing improvements

  • Added support for automatic query retries (this feature is very experimental with some limitations for now).
  • Transparent query retries.
  • Updated the behavior of ROW to JSON cast to produce JSON objects instead of JSON arrays.
  • Column and table lineage tracking in QueryCompletedEvent.

Performance improvements

Improved performance for the following operations:

  • Querying Parquet data for files containing column indexes.
  • Reading dictionary-encoded Parquet files.
  • Queries using rank() window function.
  • Queries using sum() and avg() for decimal types.
  • Queries using GROUP BY with single grouping column.
  • Aggregation on decimal values.
  • Evaluation of the WHERE and SELECT clause.
  • Computing the product of decimal values with precision larger than 19.
  • Queries that process row or array data.
  • Queries that contain a DISTINCT clause.
  • Reduced memory usage and improved performance of joins.
  • ORDER BY LIMIT performance was improved when data was pre-sorted.
  • Node-local Dynamic Filtering

Security

Added the following improvements and features relevant for authentication, authorization and integration with other security systems:

Data Sources

BigQuery connector

  • Added CREATE TABLE and DROP TABLE support.
  • Added support for case insensitive name matching for BigQuery views.
  • Support reading bignumeric type whose precision is less than or equal to 38.
  • Added support for CREATE SCHEMA and DROP SCHEMA statements.
  • Improved support for BigQuery datetime and timestamp types.

Cassandra connector

  • Mapped Cassandra uuid type to Trino uuid.
  • Added support for Cassandra tuple type.
  • Changed minimum number of speculative executions from two to one.
  • Support for reading user-defined types.

Clickhouse connector

  • Added ClickHouse connector.
  • Improved performance of aggregation queries by computing aggregations within ClickHouse. Currently, the following aggregate functions are eligible for pushdown: count, min, max, sum and avg.
  • Added support for dropping columns.
  • Map ClickHouse UUID columns as UUID type in Trino instead of VARCHAR.

HDFS, S3, Azure and cloud object storage systems

A core use case of Trino uses the Hive and Iceberg connectors to connect to a data lake. These connectors differ from most as Trino is the sole query engine as opposed to the client calling another system. Here are some changes that for these connectors:

  • Enabled Glue statistics to support better query planning when using AWS.
  • UPDATE support for ACID tables
  • A lot of Hive view improvements.
  • Parquet column indexes.
  • target_max_file_size configuration to control the file size of data written by Trino.
  • Streaming uploads to S3 by default to improve performance and reduce disk usage.
  • Improved performance for tables with small files and partitioned tables.
  • Transparent redirection from a Hive catalog to Iceberg catalog if the table is an Iceberg table.
  • Updated to Iceberg 0.11.0 behavior for transforms of dates and timestamps before 1970.
  • Added procedure system.flush_metadata_cache() to flush metadata caches.
  • Avoid generating splits for empty files.
  • Sped up Iceberg query performance when dynamic filtering can be leveraged.
  • Increased Iceberg performance when reading timestamps from Parquet files.
  • Improved Iceberg performance for queries on nested data through dereference pushdown.
  • Added support for INSERT OVERWRITE operations on S3-backed tables.
  • Made the Iceberg uuid type available.
  • Trino views made available in Iceberg.

Elasticsearch connector

  • Added support for reading fields as json values.
  • Fixed failure when documents contain fields of unsupported types.
  • Added support for scaled_float type.
  • Added support for assuming an IAM role.
  • Added retry requests with backoff when Elasticsearch is overloaded.
  • Better support for Elastic Cloud.

MongoDB connector

  • Added timestamp_objectid() function.
  • Enabled mongodb.socket-keep-alive config property by default.
  • Add support for json type.
  • Support reading MongoDB DBRef type.
  • Allow skipping creation of an index for the _schema collection, if it already exists.
  • Added support to redact the value of mongodb.credentials in the server log.
  • Added support for dropping columns.

MySQL connector

  • Added support for reading and writing timestamp values with precision higher than three.
  • Added support for predicate pushdown on timestamp columns.
  • Exclude an internal sys schema from schema listings.

Pinot connector

  • Updated Pinot connector to be compatible with versions >= 0.8.0 and drop support for older versions.
  • Added support for pushdown of filters on varbinary columns to Pinot.
  • Fixed incorrect results for queries that contain aggregations and IN and NOT IN filters over varchar columns.
  • Fixed failure for queries with filters on real or double columns having +Infinity or -Infinity values.
  • Implemented aggregation pushdown.
  • Allowed HTTPS URLs in pinot.controller-urls.

Phoenix connector

  • Phoenix 5 support was added.
  • Reduced memory usage for some queries.
  • Improved performance by adding ability to parallelize queries within Trino.

Features added to various connectors

In addition to the above some more features were added that apply to connectors that use common code. These features improve performance using:

Runtime improvements

There are a lot of performance improvements to list from the release notes. Here are a few examples:

  • Improved coordinator CPU utilization.
  • Improved query performance by reducing CPU overhead of repartitioning data across worker nodes.
  • Reduced graceful shutdown time for worker nodes.

Everything else

  • HTTP Event listener
  • Added support for ARM64 in the Trino Docker image.
  • Added clear command to the Trino CLI to clear the screen.
  • Improved tab completion for the Trino CLI.
  • Custom connector metrics.
  • Fixed many, many, many bugs!

Trino Summit

In 2021 we also enjoyed a successful inaugural Trino Summit, hosted by Starburst, with well over 500 attendees. There were wonderful talks given at this event from companies like Doordash, EA, LinkedIn, Netflix, Robinhood, Stream Native, and Tabular. If you missed this event, we have the recordings and slides available.

As a teaser, the event started with Commander Bun Bun playing guitar to AC/DC’s, “Back In Black”.

Renaming from PrestoSQL to Trino

As mentioned above, we renamed the project this year. What followed, was an outpouring of support and shock from the larger tech community. Community members immediately got to work. The project had to change the namespace practically overnight from the io.prestosql namespace to io.trino and a migration blog post was published. Due to the hasty nature of the Linux Foundation to enforce the Presto trademark, users had to adapt quickly.

This confused many in the community, especially once the ownership of old PrestoSQL accounts were taken down by the Linux Foundation. The https://prestosql.io site had broken documentation links, JDBC urls had to change from jdbc:presto to jdbc:trino, header protocol names had to be changed from prefix X-Presto- to X-Trino-, and various other user impacting changes had to be made in the matter of weeks. Even the legacy Docker images were removed from the prestosql/presto Docker repository, causing disruptions for many users who immediately had to upgrade to the trinodb/trino Docker repository.

We reached out to multiple projects to update compatibility to Trino.

Despite the breaking changes, once the immediate hurdles fell behind, not only was the community excited and supportive about the brand change, but particularly they were all loving the new mascot. Our adorable bunny was soon after named Commander Bun Bun by the community.

2022 Roadmap: Project Tardigrade

One of the interesting developments that came out of Trino Summit was a feature Trino co-creator, Martin, talked about in the State of Trino presentation. He proposed adding granular fault-tolerance and features to improve performance in the core engine. While Trino has been proven to run batch analytics workloads at scale, many have avoided long-running batch jobs in fear of a query failure. The fault-tolerance feature introduces a first step for the Trino project to gain first-class support for long-running batch queries at massive scale.

The granular fault-tolerance is being thoughtfully crafted to maintain the speed advantage that Trino has over other query engines, while increasing the resiliency of queries. In other words, rather than when a query runs out of resources or fails for any other reason, a subset of the query is retried. To support this intermediate stage data is persisted to replicated RAM or SSD.

SEM image of Milnesium tardigradum in active state - journal.pone.0045682.g001-2

The project to introduce granular fault-tolerance into Trino is called Project Tardigrade. It is a focus for many contributors now, and we will introduce you to details in the coming months. The project is named after the microscopic Tardigrades that are the worlds most indestructible creatures, akin to the resiliency we are adding to Trino’s queries. We look forward to telling you more as features unfold.

Along with Project Tardigrade will be a series of changes focused around faster performance in the query engine using columnar evaluation, adaptive planning, and better scheduling for SIMD and GPU processors. We also will be working on dynamically resolved functions, MERGE support, Time Travel queries in data lake connectors, Java 17, improved caching mechanisms, and much much more!

Conclusion

In summary, living this first year under the banner of Trino was nothing short of a wild endeavor. Any engineer knows that naming things is hard, and renaming things is all the more difficult.

As we head into 2022, we can be certain of one thing. Trino will be reaching into newer areas of development and breaking norms just as it did as Presto in previous eras. The adoption of native fault-tolerance to a lightning fast query engine will bring Trino to a new level of adoption. Keep your eyes peeled for more about Project Tardigrade.

Along with Project Tardigrade, we are looking forward to another year filled with features, issues, and suggestions from our amazing and passionate community. Thank you all for an incredible year. We can’t wait to see what you all bring in 2022!