I’m back from a trip to the SF Bay area, with a lot of writing ahead of me. I’ll dive in with some quick comments here, then write at greater length about some of these points when I can. From my trip:
- Aster Data showed me a lot of customer names and deal sizes, across a bunch of industries (mainly enterprise rather than web). Yes, Aster’s market success is for real. (But almost all those details are NDA.)
- Sybase’s product plans for IQ are pretty impressive. (But the most interesting parts are, you guessed it, NDA.)
- I’ve kissed and made up* with ParAccel, now that they’ve replaced their CEO, replaced their marketing chief, and stopped the worst of the marketing nonsense I used to complain about. ParAccel has some interesting plans for ParAccel 3.0 which are, naturally, NDA.
- The Peoplesoft guys are doing it over again at Workday. Only this time, their platform isn’t a relational DBMS. Rather, it’s an in-memory, completely object-oriented data model, with disk used only on a “Just in case the power ever goes out” basis. (Thankfully, nothing at all about our conversation was NDA.)
- I’m finally feeling good about Northscale’s memcached-compatible persistent store Membase. The main reason is that they showed me a near-term path to interfaces that are richer than key-value. Also, Todd Hoff reassured me that even pure persistent memcached has a place.
- Rumor says that even the one app for which Facebook was using Cassandra — in-box search — has been decommissioned. On the other hand, numerous other scale-0ut DBMS (SQL or otherwise) seem to have Facebook footholds. But details are — all together now! — NDA.
*If you know ParAccel’s new marketing exec Michael Weir, you surely guessed I mean that only in a figurative sense.
- Daniel Abadi offered his analysis of Kickfire’s demise. In general I agree, but Daniel neglected to mention one hugely important factor — the chicken-egg negative effect of Kickfire’s lack of market or marketing traction. Customers were extremely reluctant to buy from Kickfire because they perceived, correctly, that Kickfire’s survivability was far from assured.
- While the InfiniDB forums suggest that there are at least a couple of production users of Calpont’s free InfiniDB, Calpont seemingly has a long way to go to be even as successful as Kickfire. But Calpont does have a bit of money to spend on lead generation; maybe some day they’ll even have actual customers.
- In a response to a question I messaged over, XtremeData tells me they have actual customers now. Press releases to follow.
- The admiration for the job Mark Hurd did at HP is in my opinion overstated. Sure, the financial/operational management appeared to work, but HP did little on Hurd’s watch to strengthen its reputation or customers’ loyalty. In particular:
- HP’s analytics efforts have accomplished little.
- HP’s data warehouse appliance efforts have failed pathetically.
- From what I hear, HP’s execution in its Exadata partnership was not good.
- HP’s server business in general is distinguished mainly by HP being a big company.
- HP’s EDS acquisition has been rocky, not that EDS was sailing so smoothly on its own beforehand.
- HP’s success in PCs amounts to “arguably, HP sucks a little less than the other guys”.
- HP’s elite reputation is long gone (admittedly, for the most part that predates Hurd).
- Doug Henschen evidently favors really strong intellectual property protection for software, even forbidding plug-compatible reverse engineering. I agree with Doug up to the point that it should be forbidden to copy proprietary software, but I don’t see why he (or a court) would view such behavior as copying.