October 11, 2012

Oracle and IBM — strategic context

By my standards, I’ve been writing a lot about Oracle and IBM recently. Let me now step back and review the context in which I view them.

At the highest level, Oracle and IBM have similar strategic priorities, in line with the Innovator’s Dilemma/Innovator’s Solution issues I keep mentioning. That is:

Of course, there are major differences in the two companies’ product and service portfolios. Some of the biggest are: Read more

June 25, 2012

Why I’m so forward-leaning about Hadoop features

In my recent series of Hadoop posts, there were several cases where I had to choose between recommending that enterprises:

I favored the more advanced features each time. Here’s why.

To a first approximation, I divide Hadoop use cases into two major buckets, only one of which I was addressing with my comments:

1. Analytic data management.* Here I favored features over reliability because they are more important, for Hadoop as for analytic RDBMS before it. When somebody complains about an analytic data store not being ready for prime time, never really working, or causing them to tear their hair out, what they usually mean is that:

Those complaints are much, much, more frequent than “It crashed”. So it was for Netezza, DATAllegro, Greenplum, Aster Data, Vertica, Infobright, et al. So it also is for Hadoop. And how does one address those complaints? By performance and feature enhancements, of the kind that the Hadoop community is introducing at high speed. Read more

June 19, 2012

Notes on HBase 0.92

This is part of a four-post series, covering:

As part of my recent round of Hadoop research, I talked with Cloudera’s Todd Lipcon. Naturally, one of the subjects was HBase, and specifically HBase 0.92. I gather that the major themes to HBase 0.92 are:

HBase coprocessors are Java code that links straight into HBase. As with other DBMS extensions of the “links straight into the DBMS code” kind,* HBase coprocessors seem best suited for very sophisticated users and third parties.** Evidently, coprocessors have already been used to make HBase security more granular — role-based, per-column-family/per-table, etc. Further, Todd thinks coprocessors could serve as a good basis for future HBase enhancements in areas such as aggregation or secondary indexing. Read more

June 19, 2012

“Enterprise-ready Hadoop”

This is part of a four-post series, covering:

The posts depend on each other in various ways.

Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR all claim, in effect, “Our version of Hadoop is enterprise-ready, unlike those other guys’.” I’m dubious.

That said, “enterprise-ready Hadoop” really is an important topic.

So what does it mean for something to be “enterprise-ready”, in whole or in part? Common themes in distinguishing between “enterprise-class” and other software include:

For Hadoop, as for most things, these concepts overlap in many ways. Read more

November 12, 2011

Exasol update

I last wrote about Exasol in 2008. After talking with the team Friday, I’m fixing that now. :) The general theme was as you’d expect: Since last we talked, Exasol has added some new management, put some effort into sales and marketing, got some customers, kept enhancing the product and so on.

Top-level points included:

Read more

July 5, 2011

Eight kinds of analytic database (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this two-part series, I outlined four variants on the traditional enterprise data warehouse/data mart dichotomy, and suggested what kinds of DBMS products you might use for each. In Part 2 I’ll cover four more kinds of analytic database — even newer, for the most part, with a use case/product short list match that is even less clear.  Read more

July 5, 2011

Eight kinds of analytic database (Part 1)

Analytic data management technology has blossomed, leading to many questions along the lines of “So which products should I use for which category of problem?” The old EDW/data mart dichotomy is hopelessly outdated for that purpose, and adding a third category for “big data” is little help.

Let’s try eight categories instead. While no categorization is ever perfect, these each have at least some degree of technical homogeneity. Figuring out which types of analytic database you have or need — and in most cases you’ll need several — is a great early step in your analytic technology planning.  Read more

June 26, 2011

What to think about BEFORE you make a technology decision

When you are considering technology selection or strategy, there are a lot of factors that can each have bearing on the final decision — a whole lot. Below is a very partial list.

In almost any IT decision, there are a number of environmental constraints that need to be acknowledged. Organizations may have standard vendors, favored vendors, or simply vendors who give them particularly deep discounts. Legacy systems are in place, application and system alike, and may or may not be open to replacement. Enterprises may have on-premise or off-premise preferences; SaaS (Software as a Service) vendors probably have multitenancy concerns. Your organization can determine which aspects of your system you’d ideally like to see be tightly integrated with each other, and which you’d prefer to keep only loosely coupled. You may have biases for or against open-source software. You may be pro- or anti-appliance. Some applications have a substantial need for elastic scaling. And some kinds of issues cut across multiple areas, such as budget, timeframe, security, or trained personnel.

Multitenancy is particularly interesting, because it has numerous implications. Read more

June 20, 2011

The Vertica story (with soundbites!)

I’ve blogged separately that:

And of course you know:

Read more

February 5, 2011

Comments on the Gartner 2010/2011 Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant

Edit: Comments on the February, 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — and on the companies reviewed in it — are now up.

The Gartner 2010 Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant is out. I shall now comment, just as I did to varying degrees on the 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrants.

Note: Links to Gartner Magic Quadrants tend to be unstable. Please alert me if any problems arise; I’ll edit accordingly.

In my comments on the 2008 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant, I observed that Gartner’s “completeness of vision” scores were generally pretty reasonable, but their “ability to execute” rankings were somewhat bizarre; the same remains true this year. For example, Gartner ranks Ingres higher by that metric than Vertica, Aster Data, ParAccel, or Infobright. Yet each of those companies is growing nicely and delivering products that meet serious cutting-edge analytic DBMS needs, neither of which has been true of Ingres since about 1987.  Read more

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