Drill is a database system designed for Big Data exploration. It is an open-source, distributed SQL query system based on Google's Dremel query system, and its design features a columnar execution engine. Drill is the only distributed SQL engine in the world that does not require schemas. It was designed from the ground up, and it supports many NoSQL databases and file systems, with the ability for a single query to join data from multiple datastores.
In 2010, Google published a paper titled "Dremel: Interactive Analysis of Web-Scale Datasets" that described a scalable database system designed for "interactive analysis of nested data". The Dremel system is available today under Google's BigQuery system. Development of Apache Drill began in 2012, with the goal of replicating the capabilities of Dremel. Initial goals of the system included support for multiple storage systems, file formats, query languages, and data sources, as well as the ability to scale over 10,000 servers and process petabytes of data in seconds.