Information preservation* DBMS vendor Clearpace officially changed its name to RainStor this week. RainStor is also relocating its CEO John Bantleman and more generally its headquarters to San Francisco. This all led to a visit with John and his colleague Ramon Chen, highlights of which included:
- RainStor expects to finish the year with > 50 users (overwhelmingly via partners)
- A big market for RainStor (at least in terms of signed partnerships and large deal activity) is retention of telecom records, for compliance purposes, typically for a 1-3 year period. This includes:
- CDRs (Call Detail Records)
- Mobile phone records including CDRs and missed calls
- SMS (Short Message Service), including the complete text of same
- RainStor thinks a number of larger telcos have the need to store a billion records per day each. (I’m not sure how many subscribers such a telco would have to have).
- John further thinks that, for the same query performance, RainStor can handle such a database on 4 blades. More precisely, he says that’s what happened at a test conducted by a major technology firm. In the same test case, SenSage required 40 blades, and Oracle required 80 or more cores on a pair of big SMP machines. John further says that the Oracle solution required a new table and new tablespace every day, while RainStor’s took 3 days for initial installation and required no DBA afterwards. However, I’m in no position to verify this report independently.
- In a different kind of proof point, so extreme it gives even the RainStor folks pause, a user has retired 300 different applications and put their databases onto a single 2-core box. (Presumably, this is via RainStor’s OEM relationship with Informatica.)
- Coming Very Soon are some services tying RainStor’s DBMS to obvious-suspect SaaS offerings. The core positioning is “SaaS data escrow”.i.e., RainStor will help you ensure that, in a worst-case scenario, there’s a nice safe copy of your data you can get at. RainStor also encourages you to do basic reporting and BI against the RainStor copy of the data, if you choose.
- The idea I’ve been pushing lately of taking a heterogeneous replication offering like Continuent’s and having it feed an archiving store like RainStor’s has hit a rather basic snag. RainStor doesn’t actually consume change data capture kinds of information directly, at least as of yet, because of difficulties fitting such a stream into its guaranteed-data-immutability model.
*I coined that category description for John in the tea room of the Park Lane Hotel. He’s subsequently embraced it enthusiastically, and I kind of like it myself.