Aster Data is in the news, bragging about a cloud version of nCluster, and providing both a press release and a blog post on the subject. It seems there are three actual customers, two of which have been publicly named. One of them, ShareThis, is in production. (2 terabytes of data on 9 nodes, planning to scale to 10-18 TB on 24 or so nodes by year-end.) All seem to be doing something in the area of internet marketing, web analytics or otherwise — which makes sense, as the same could be said of almost all Aster customers overall. That said, it seems that these customers are doing their primary analytic processing remotely, which makes Aster’s experience in that regard more akin to Kognitio’s than to Vertica’s.
List pricing is mainly in the $100K+/year range, but there are also introductory offerings. That does not include hosting services, which clients can buy themselves from either Amazon/EC2 or AppNexus. Superficially, this sounds a lot more expensive than Vertica, but since my price information from either of them is really just a sentence here and a phrase there, that’s not a conclusion to be seriously relied upon.
Aster is also trying to create an impression: “MapReduce is in the cloud. MapReduce is like Google and cloud is like Google, so they go together like peanut butter and chocolate.” Or something like that. I find the whole thing a bit overdone, and wish Aster wouldn’t tie its marketing identity so closely to the admittedly cool supports-MapReduce feature. That said, I do think Aster’s nPath story is pretty interesting, and I plan to blog about that shortly.