Since my recent post about Kognitio, things have gotten worse. The company is insistently pushing the marketing message that Kognitio has always been an in-memory product, and at one point went so far as to publicly pretend that I had agreed.
I do not agree. Yes, it’s fair to say — as I did in 2008 — that Kognitio is very RAM-centric, but that’s not at all the same thing. In particular:
- I did due diligence for Warburg Pincus’ original investment in Kognitio in the 1990s (it was then called White Cross). I have no memory of an in-memory positioning, nor of discussing same with anybody.
- I checked my notes from a 2006 briefing, which included Kognitio CTO Roger Gaskell. There was no claim that Kognitio was an in-memory product.
- Indeed, as I also posted in 2008, Kognitio keeps indexes on disk. If you use indexes on disk, you’re not an in-memory product.
The truth is that Kognitio offers a disk-based DBMS that has long been worked on by a small team. I believe that the team really has put considerable effort into how Kognitio uses RAM. But there’s no basis to give Kognitio credit for being “really” in-memory vs. a variety of other analytic RDBMS alternatives. And a row-based product that doesn’t currently offer compression is at a large disadvantage versus, say, columnar products that already do.*
*Columnar systems don’t clobber row-based ones in-memory as extremely as they do in some disk-based use cases. But even in-memory it’s good not to have to move around data that isn’t relevant to your query.
Until Kognitio gets at least somewhat more honest in its marketing, I recommend avoiding Kognitio like the plague. It’s simply not a big enough company to buy from unless you have some level of trust in the management team.