IBM is acquiring Solid Information Technology, makers of solidDB. Some quick comments:
- solidDB is actually a very interesting hybrid disk/in-memory memory-centric database management system. However, the press release announcing the deal makes it sound as if solidDB is in-memory only.
- That strongly suggests that IBM is buying Solid mainly to compete with Oracle TimesTen. As of last June, solidDB was already IBM’s TimesTen answer via a partnership; this deal just solidifies that arrangement.
- This probably isn’t good news for Solid’s MySQL engine. That’s a pity, since solidDB technically has the potential to be the best MySQL engine around.
- Notwithstanding IBM’s presumed intentions, Solid’s main market success historically is as an embedded system in telecommunications equipment, network software, and similar systems.
- Last year I wrote a white paper on memory-centric data management, showcasing four products. IBM now has bought two of them, namely Solid’s and Applix’s (via Cognos).
- Comparisons to IBM’s embedded Java DBMS Cloudscape are pointless. That’s just a failed product vs. solidDB or Sybase SQL Anywhere, and IBM long ago cut its losses.
Here’s a link to a webcast I did with Solid back in June.
Edit: As per the invitations to the 11:00 am conference call, the following — straight from the press release — is evidently the official IBM one-paragraph description of the acquisition.
The acquisition of Solid supports IBM’s global Information on Demand strategy by adding real-time data access capabilities to the company’s portfolio of database and information management offerings. Solid’s software uses in-memory database technology to quickly retrieve data from a computer’s memory (or RAM). Using this software, businesses can access and store data at speeds up to ten times faster than traditional disk database systems. Solid’s architecture also enables applications to recover from system failure rapidly and to require little disk space and almost no hands-on administration.
Edit: IDG has quotes confirming the emphasis on TimesTen competition. IDG also reminds us that MySQL 6.0 will have its own storage engine Falcon. I guess that’s pretty much do or die for MySQL now.