June 20, 2011

Vertica as an analytic platform

Vertica 5.0 is coming out today, and delivering the down payment on Vertica’s analytic platform strategy. In Vertica lingo, there’s now a Vertica SDK (Software Development Kit), featuring Vertica UDT(F)s* (User-Defined Transform Functions). Vertica UDT syntax basics start: 

*It looks like the “F” is in the official name, but will often be dropped colloquially.

Other Vertica analytic platform highlights include:

*Vertica’s UDT workload management is RAM-only, and “honor system” — i.e., it assumes that the UDTFs declare their resource usage correctly, which Vertica says is the right way to handle in-process C++ routines.

Vertica also argues that fast-performing SQL in and of itself can amount to analytic functionality. For example, Vertica has tried to ensure that it offers great performance in the kinds of self-joins that are used in graph analysis. Since Vertica has plenty of customers among the kinds of Web and telco companies that use graph analysis today, I’m inclined to grant some benefit of the doubt here. That said, Vertica thinks 3 hops is plenty for most kinds of graph analysis people want to do, and I can think of applications (e.g. anti-terrorism) where that’s surely not the case.


7 Responses to “Vertica as an analytic platform”

  1. The Vertica story (with soundbites!) | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on June 20th, 2011 1:15 am

    […] Vertica has progressed down the analytic platform path, with Monday’s release of Vertica 5.0. […]

  2. Temporal data, time series, and imprecise predicates | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on June 20th, 2011 1:18 am

    […] series SQL extensions. Vertica explained its version of these to me a few days ago. I imagine Sybase IQ and other serious […]

  3. Anton on June 21st, 2011 11:51 pm

    It is interesting that Vertica seems to be absent from TPC-H rankings. Not that it matters, but it would be interesting to see the database loading times and query execution times in comparison to other products.

  4. Curt Monash on June 22nd, 2011 2:12 am

    If you like, you can set up a cluster, download Vertica, and run a TPC-H yourself.

  5. HP’s Vertica adds developer-level access | Blade Servers on July 6th, 2011 2:10 pm

    […] an essential feature of an analytic platform,” said Curt Monash of Monash Research. He said this feature is valuable because typically, in order to perform complex analysis, the data must be moved out of the database […]

  6. Some Vertica 6 features | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on July 28th, 2012 1:29 am

    […] I have some tidbits to add to my June, 2011 coverage of Vertica’s analytic functionality. […]

  7. Comments on Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — evaluations | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on February 5th, 2013 8:25 am

    […] Gartner correctly praises Vertica’s analytic platform capabilities, but then seems to criticize Vertica’s capabilities in user-defined functions — notwithstanding that Vertica’s analytic platform capabilities are implemented via UDFs. […]

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