February 4, 2010

Quick thoughts on Sybase/Aleri

Sybase announced an asset purchase that amounts to a takeover of CEP (Complex Event Processing) Aleri. Perhaps not coincidentally, Sybase already had technology under the hood from Aleri predecessor/acquiree Coral8, for financial services uses (notwithstanding that between Aleri Classic and Coral8, Aleri Classic was the one of the two more focused on financial services). Quick reactions include:

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7 Responses to “Quick thoughts on Sybase/Aleri”

  1. Carl Kayser on February 4th, 2010 1:09 pm

    Adaptive Server Anywhere or Adaptive Server Enterprise? (Note that the former has now been renamed back to SQL Anywhere. Ahhh, marketing, don’t you just love it.)

  2. Hans on February 4th, 2010 1:53 pm

    I don’t think most IT shops want high performance real-time. It’s a huge pain compared to the store-and-grid model. If you’re not storing the data, then you can’t rerun queries – basically a show stopper for most applications. And if you are storing the data, the difference between CEP and grid comes down to latency.

    And who cares about milliseconds vs a minute or two? I mean seriously – who cares?

    (Coming from finance, I care. But who else?)

    If Sybase wants to sell CEP outside of finance, they have to start with the premise that most of their current customers don’t want it. They need to locate and push into markets that do want it. I don’t think they’ll do it – they will stick to real-time risk and let someone else pioneer the new markets (if they exist).

  3. Curt Monash on February 4th, 2010 2:54 pm


    I meant to refer both to the OLTP and mobile DBMS from Sybase in different points, whatever they’re now called …


    There are a lot of customer-facing apps where you can tolerated latency on the order of a large fraction of a second up to a few seconds, but no more than that. I’ll edit a relevant link into the post above.

  4. Hans on February 4th, 2010 5:05 pm

    To me there’s a big difference between making a decision or constructing a response in half a second – and ensuring that incoming data from the previous half second is part of that decision or response.

    If you look at marketing for StreamBase, Apama or Business Events – you will see them going after use cases where there is something to be done quickly and it must take into account other very recent events.

    I wonder how many Sybase customers will fall into this category. Just saying… the Oracle CEP blog hasn’t had a post in over three months. It’s possible that the user base is just… different. And that means cross selling opportunities are not as plentiful as one might hope.

    But anyway, I don’t mean to sound so down about this stuff. Of course I hope that Sybase takes these products to the next level and that they find massive cross selling opportunities.

  5. Curt Monash on February 4th, 2010 6:51 pm

    Web-site personalization takes into account info from the last click, which was very recent.

    That said, any one query is only taking into account a very small amount of recent information, which is a difference from classic CEP use cases. Or, if one wants to adapt things to ongoing overall clicking activity, a latency of a few minutes probably suffices. Hmm …

  6. Hans on February 5th, 2010 12:25 am

    There are great use cases from personalization. Some involve event processing, most are pretty basic uses of a web session but require pre-mined trend or cluster data to be available for fast querying.

    I’m a big fan of real-time data processing. And there are clearly use cases where it’s needed. But I do wonder whether those use cases represent cross selling opportunities for Sybase, or will mean the development of a whole new customer base.

    TIBCO also has an interesting perspective in asking whether we will see streaming queries bundled as added value for buying a DBMS. I’m not sure that I buy this idea, but the question seems reasonable at a gut level.

  7. The Sybase Aleri RAP | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on February 5th, 2010 8:06 pm

    […] Well, I got a quick Sybase/Aleri briefing, along with multiple apologies for not being prebriefed. (Main excuse: News was getting out, which accelerated the announcement.) Nothing badly contradicted my prior post on the Sybase/Aleri deal. […]

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