May 8, 2008

Vertica update

Another TDWI conference approaches. Not coincidentally, I had another Vertica briefing. Primary subjects included some embargoed stuff, plus (at my instigation) outsourced data marts. But I also had the opportunity to follow up on a couple of points from February’s briefing, namely:

Vertica has about 35 paying customers. That doesn’t sound like a lot more than they had a quarter ago, but first quarters can be slow.

Vertica’s list price is $150K/terabyte of user data. That sounds very high versus the competition. On the other hand, if you do the math versus what they told me a few months ago — average initial selling price $250K or less, multi-terabyte sites — it’s obvious that discounting is rampant, so I wouldn’t actually assume that Vertica is a high-priced alternative.

Vertica does stress several reasons for thinking its TCO is competitive. First, with all that compression and performance, they think their hardware costs are very modest. Second, with the self-tuning, they think their DBA costs are modest too. Finally, they charge only for deployed data; the software that stores copies of data for development and test is free.


10 Responses to “Vertica update”

  1. Jim on May 8th, 2008 3:36 pm

    So you think they mean $150K / TB compressed user data? So assuming 10:1 compression, that would be more like $15K / TB user data?

  2. Curt Monash on May 8th, 2008 10:58 pm

    Nope. It’s definitely raw data.


  3. Tipoff on May 9th, 2008 4:26 am

    Around a year ago I spoke to Vertica hn behalf of a telco looking for a CDR warehouse. The pricing given then was subscription based – $20k/TB/year, again user-data not compressed. Is this new pricing a one-off cost plus maintenance on top?

  4. Curt Monash on May 9th, 2008 6:56 am

    A few of the hardware-independent vendors offered subscription pricing in their beta phase, and technically probably still do. I’m sure Greenplum is in that set; I vaguely remember that ParAccel might be as well.

    Vertica was pretty much pre-revenue a year ago; I wouldn’t pay too much attention now to whatever their pricing was then.

    That said — thank you very much for sharing! And yes, this is license fee, presumably with standard annual maintenance pricing percentages.



  5. Bill Walters on July 7th, 2008 6:02 pm

    When will this blog investigate and report on the effect of the Sybase lawsuit against Vertica? The suit filed in Texas Federal court says that Vertica “willfully” violated Sybase’s 10 year old patent on the orgainzation of a columnar database to support decision support.

  6. Curt Monash on July 7th, 2008 11:28 pm


    What’s your agenda in spamming my blog with dozens of comments about that lawsuit?


  7. Bill Walters on July 10th, 2008 8:27 am


    What’s your agenda of refusing to even acknowledge the situation?.

    It is a major development that will have a significant impact on Vertica and perhaps all vendors that sell columnar technology. Take a moment to review Sybase’s patent. It is well written and very specific and then provide your expert opinion.

  8. Curt Monash on July 10th, 2008 8:37 am


    I’ve covered the DBMS industry for over 26 years. I do not recall a single instance of a patent problem being big enough to affect customers.

    Also, you are wasting my time with your deceptive actions — fake URLs, breathless misinterpretations of patent law, and so on, not to mention your sheer spam. Start behaving responsibly and I may take you and your cause more seriously.

    Have a great day.


  9. Bill Walters on August 8th, 2008 9:20 pm

    Bill, Selectica customers were adversely effected by the Trilogy lawsuit as new releases were delayed to compensate for the potential outcome of the suit. Many millions were spent defending the company that may have been used to improve the product or beef up support. Strategic planning for new releases was effected as product managers anticipated the outcome. Cognos vs Business Objects, SAP vs Oracle, should I go on. Lawsuits that challenge the underlying technology of the offering impact the customer by creating uncertainty that effects product planning and investment

  10. Curt Monash on August 8th, 2008 11:43 pm

    Cognos vs. Business Objects is a great example, because it didn’t affect customers.

    SAP vs. Oracle has nothing to do with patents.

    Lotus/Borland over QuattroPro did affect customers, but also wasn’t a matter of patents.

    I haven’t detected any effect of Informatica/Business Objects on customers.


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