Why would I pick or not pick Trino/PrestoDB/Athena? What are my alternatives?

Albert Wong
2 min readAug 31, 2023
Trino/PrestoDB/Athena vs. StarRocks

When Trino/PrestoDB/Athena is a good fit?

Trino/PrestoDB/Athena is a federated query engine. There are 100s of different connectors and the performance is pretty great compared to solutions in that space.

When Trino/PrestoDB/Athena is a bad fit?

Although Trino/PrestoDB/Athena can connect to 100s of different systems, no matter how optimized your SQL query engine is, most of the performance gains are wiped out by slow reads from the underlying system and by the slowest system that you have in your query set. IMHO, most people who choose Trino/PrestoDB/Athena have reasons why they have to use it (eg. Cannot upgrade or migrate the data to a faster system or don’t want to pay for a single consolidated database).

When is StarRocks is a good fit?

When there are a few sources that you’d like to connect to OR you can consolidate the data into a single database.

Query data on top of the lake, support performant JOINS at scale, support 1000s of users doing adhoc queries
Run StarRocks on top of raw data and then create views or materialized views as needed.
AirBnB with StarRocks: 4 JOINS with billions of rows in under 4 seconds
Tencent Games with StarRocks: 400+ users doing ad hoc queries on xx+ petabytes of data on Apache Iceberg files.

Specifically, when I mentioned a few sources, you want to connect to the major open table formats like Apache Iceberg, Apache Hudi, Apache Hive and/or Delta Lake and/or major databases mysql or postgresql. Full list can be found at https://docs.starrocks.io/en-us/latest/data_source/catalog/catalog_overview. With StarRocks, you can do JOINS and materialized views across multiple sources.

When is StarRocks is a bad fit?

When you need all those connectors. I would stick with Trino/PrestoDB/Athena.



Albert Wong

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