Infobright announced today that it’s going full-bore into open source – specifically in the MySQL ecosystem — with the licensing approach, pricing, distribution strategy, and VC money from Sun that such a move naturally entails. I think this is a great idea, for a number of reasons:
- The famous high end of the MySQL market is a handful of web businesses with tons of user traffic and clickstream data. Those outfits have already been buying massive data warehouse appliances – or doing things even more dramatic — and don’t need Infobright. But for anybody else in the MySQL world who needs high-performance analytics, Infobright is the first good solution.
- OK, there’s also Kickfire, even less mature than Infobright. But Infobright can be downloaded and run on a single commodity server, while Kickfire makes a proprietary box. Unless they need Kickfire’s screaming performance, most MySQL users will prefer Infobright’s packaging.
- The Infobright product has serious limitations, including some pretty basic missing DBMS functionality, although Infobright’s Release 3 approaches the level of some other vendors’ Release 1. Well, if you want a market that’s willing to adopt a DBMS with serious limitations, the MySQL world is the place for you.
- Infobright’s technology is all about running basic queries quickly, with a minimum of administration, on a minimum of hardware. That’s a good fit for small departments. So is open source. And given that Infobright hasn’t achieved much in the concurrency area yet, small departments is what it’s best suited for anyway.
- The Infobright architecture is one-of-a-kind. Nobody should adopt it without downloading and playing with the product anyway. On the other hand, with low hardware footprint, low administration, and fast load, downloading and testing Infobright isn’t necessarily much of hassle.
- Above all, Infobright was too little, too late in the mainstream analytic DBMS market. They had to do something different. Kudos to them for recognizing that.
On the downside, since Infobright is the first serious open source analytic DBMS – or maybe the second after MonetDB, but that’s not well promoted – the market is quite unproven. For example, even when open source BI products like Jaspersoft do get enterprise adoption, their use cases aren’t necessarily the ones Infobright would fit with.
Posts today on open source DBMS
- Infobright’s smart move to open source
- General Infobright update
- Infobright sound bites
- The many faces of open source DBMS