Data mart outsourcing

Discussion of services that analyze large databases on an outsourced basis. Related subjects include:

July 29, 2009

What are the best choices for scaling Postgres?

March, 2011 edit: In its quaintness, this post is a reminder of just how fast Short Request Processing DBMS technology has been moving ahead.  If I had to do it all over again, I’d suggest they use one of the high-performance MySQL options like dbShards, Schooner, or both together.  I actually don’t know what they finally decided on in that area. (I do know that for analytic DBMS they chose Vertica.)

I have a client who wants to build a new application with peak update volume of several million transactions per hour.  (Their base business is data mart outsourcing, but now they’re building update-heavy technology as well. ) They have a small budget.  They’ve been a MySQL shop in the past, but would prefer to contract (not eliminate) their use of MySQL rather than expand it.

My client actually signed a deal for EnterpriseDB’s Postgres Plus Advanced Server and GridSQL, but unwound the transaction quickly. (They say EnterpriseDB was very gracious about the reversal.) There seem to have been two main reasons for the flip-flop.  First, it seems that EnterpriseDB’s version of Postgres isn’t up to PostgreSQL’s 8.4 feature set yet, although EnterpriseDB’s timetable for catching up might have tolerable. But GridSQL apparently is further behind yet, with no timetable for up-to-date PostgreSQL compatibility.  That was the dealbreaker.

The current base-case plan is to use generic open source PostgreSQL, with scale-out achieved via hand sharding, Hibernate, or … ??? Experience and thoughts along those lines would be much appreciated.

Another option for OLTP performance and scale-out is of course memory-centric options such as VoltDB or the Groovy SQL Switch.  But this client’s database is terabyte-scale, so hardware costs could be an issue, as of course could be product maturity.

By the way, a large fraction of these updates will be actual changes, as opposed to new records, in case that matters.  I expect that the schema being updated will be very simple — i.e., clearly simpler than in a classic order entry scenario.

February 26, 2009

Data warehousing business trends

I’ve talked with a whole lot of vendors recently, some here at TDWI, as well as users, fellow analysts, and so on. Repeated themes include: Read more

January 12, 2009

Database SaaS gains a little visibility

Way back in the 1970s, a huge fraction of analytic database management was done via timesharing, specifically in connection with the RAMIS and FOCUS business-intelligence-precursor fourth-generation languages.  (Both were written by Gerry Cohen, who built his company Information Builders around the latter one.)  The market for remoting-computing business intelligence has never wholly gone away since. Indeed, it’s being revived now, via everything from the analytics part of to the service category I call data mart outsourcing.

Less successful to date are efforts in the area of pure database software-as-a-service.  It seems that if somebody is going for SaaS anyway, they usually want a more complete, integrated offering. The most noteworthy exceptions I can think of to this general rule are Kognitio and Vertica, and they only have a handful of database SaaS customers each. To wit: Read more

September 12, 2008

Some Netezza customer metrics

From the conference call based on Netezza’s July, 2008 Q1, as of the end of Q1:

July 1, 2008

Jerry Held on cloud data warehousing and how business intelligence will be transformed by it

Vertica Chairman Jerry Held has a pair of blog posts on analytics and data warehousing in the cloud. The first lays out a number of potential benefits and consequences of cloud data warehousing, under the heading of “Transforming BI”: Read more

May 23, 2008

Data warehouse appliance power user TEOCO

If you had to name super-high-end users of data warehouse technology, your list might start with a few retailers, credit data processors, and telcos, plus the US intelligence establishment. Well, it turns out that TEOCO runs outsourced data warehouses for several of the top US telcos, making it one of the top data warehouse technology users around.

A few weeks ago, I had a fascinating chat with John Devolites of TEOCO. Highlights included:

May 8, 2008

Outsourced data marts

Call me slow on the uptake if you like, but it’s finally dawned on me that outsourced data marts are a nontrivial segment of the analytics business. For example:

To a first approximation, here’s what I think is going on. Read more

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