Streaming and complex event processing (CEP)
Discussion of complex event processing (CEP), aka event processing or stream processing – i.e., of technology that executes queries before data is ever stored on disk. Related subjects include:
Streambase is announcing something called the StreamBase Component Exchange, for developers to exchange components to be used with the StreamBase engine, presumably on an open source basis. I simultaneously think:
- This is a good idea, and many software vendors should do it if they aren’t already.
- It’s no big deal.
For reasons why, let me quote an email I just sent to an inquiring reporter:
- StreamBase sells mainly to the financial services and intelligence community markets. Neither group will share much in the way of core algorithms.
- But both groups are pretty interested in open source software even so. (I think for both the price and customizability benefits.)
- Open source software commonly gets community contributions for connectors, adapters, and (national) language translations.
- But useful contributions in other areas are much rarer.
- Linden Labs is one of StreamBase’s few significant customers outside its two core markets.
- All of the above are consistent with the press release (which quotes only one StreamBase customer — guess who?).
|Categories: Games and virtual worlds, Investment research and trading, Open source, StreamBase, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP)||8 Comments|
Well, I got a quick Sybase/Aleri briefing, along with multiple apologies for not being prebriefed. (Main excuse: News was getting out, which accelerated the announcement.) Nothing badly contradicted my prior post on the Sybase/Aleri deal.
To understand Sybase’s plans for Aleri and CEP, it helps to understand Sybase’s current CEP-oriented offering, Sybase RAP. So far as I can tell, Sybase RAP has to date only been sold in the form of Sybase RAP: The Trading Edition. In that guise, Sybase RAP has been sold to >40 outfits since its May, 2008 launch, mainly big names in the investment banking and stock exchange sectors. If I understood correctly, the next target market for Sybase RAP is telcos, for real-time network tuning and management.
In addition to any domain-specific applications, Sybase RAP has three layers:
- CEP (Complex Event Processing). Sybase RAP CEP is based on a version of the Coral8 engine Sybase licensed and has been subsequently developing.
- In-memory DBMS. Sybase’s IMDB is part of (but I guess separable from) and has the same API as Sybase’s OLTP DBMS Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE, aka Sybase Classic).
- Sybase IQ. Actually, Sybase used the phrase “based on Sybase IQ,” but I’m guessing it’s just Sybase IQ.
|Categories: Aleri and Coral8, Analytic technologies, Data warehousing, In-memory DBMS, Investment research and trading, Market share and customer counts, Memory-centric data management, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP), Sybase||9 Comments|
Sybase announced an asset purchase that amounts to a takeover of CEP (Complex Event Processing) Aleri. Perhaps not coincidentally, Sybase already had technology under the hood from Aleri predecessor/acquiree Coral8, for financial services uses (notwithstanding that between Aleri Classic and Coral8, Aleri Classic was the one of the two more focused on financial services). Quick reactions include:
- The folks at Sybase still haven’t figured out when to prebrief me. (Edit: I’ve been briefed subsequently.)
- Sybase/Aleri is a potentially powerful combination, if they can effectively address the point I just made about integrating disparate latencies. That said, I’m not expecting a lot, because the CEP industry always disappoints me.
- Microsoft, IBM, and (somewhat less clearly) Oracle are all trying to do CEP inhouse. Sybase is making a good choice in having serious CEP inhouse itself
- Surely the main focus and financial justification for the Sybase/Aleri acquisition is the financial services market.
- Specifically, I expect the focus of technical integration between Aleri and Sybase’s DBMS products to start with Sybase IQ.
- Coral8 had some interesting ideas about how to integrate CEP with OLTP/operational BI, but I’m not aware that they got much traction.
- I bet there are use cases where Sybase tries and fails to sell Adaptive Server SQL Anywhere that CEP would be a better technical fit, but I don’t immediately see much practical business significance to that observation.
- While this deal could easily strengthen the Vertica/StreamBase partnership, I don’t see any reason why it would lead those two companies to actually merge.
|Categories: Aleri and Coral8, Analytic technologies, Investment research and trading, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP), Sybase||7 Comments|
I have various subjects backed up that I don’t really want to write about at traditional blog-post length. Here are a few of them. Read more
|Categories: Analytic technologies, Columnar database management, MarkLogic, Open source, Oracle, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP), Structured documents, Theory and architecture, Vertica Systems||2 Comments|
I visited with SenSage on my two most recent trips to San Francisco. Both visits were, through no fault of SenSage’s, hasty. Still, I think I have enough of a handle on SenSage basics to be worth writing up.
General SenSage highlights include:
|Categories: Analytic technologies, Columnar database management, Data warehousing, Database compression, Log analysis, MapReduce, SenSage, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP), Telecommunications||3 Comments|
Eric Lai emailed today to ask what I thought about the NoSQL folks, and especially whether I thought their ideas were useful for enterprises in general, as opposed to just Web 2.0 companies. That was the first I heard of NoSQL, which seems to be a community discussing SQL alternatives popular among the cloud/big-web-company set, such as BigTable, Hadoop, Cassandra and so on. My short answers are:
- In most cases, no.
- Most of these technologies are designed for simple, high-volume OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing.) Most large enterprises have an established way of doing OLTP, probably via relational database management systems. Why change?
- MapReduce is an exception, in that it’s designed for analytics. MapReduce may be useful for enterprises. But where it is, it probably should be integrated into an analytic DBMS.
- There’s one big countervailing factor to all these generalities — schema flexibility.
As for the longer form, let me start by noting that there are two main kinds of reason for not liking SQL. Read more
While performance may not be all that great a source of CEP competitive differentiation, event processing vendors find plenty of other bases for technological competition, including application development, analytics, packaged applications, and data integration. In particular:
- Most independent CEP vendors have some kind of application story in the capital markets vertical, such as packaged applications, ISV partners with packaged applications, application frameworks, and so on.
- CEP vendors offer lots of connectors to specific financial industry price/quote/trade feeds, as well as the usual other kinds of database connectivity (SQL, XML, etc.)
- Aleri/Coral8 (separately and now together) like to call attention to their business intelligence/analytics offerings. Analytics is front-and-center on Truviso’s web site too, not that Truviso does much to call attention to itself, period. (Roman Bukary once said he’d outline Truviso’s new strategy to me in 6-8 weeks or so … it’s now 14 months and counting.)
So far as I can tell, the areas of applications and analytics are fairly uncontroversial. Different CEP vendors have implemented different kinds of things, no doubt focusing on those they thought they would find easiest to build and then sell. But these seem to be choices in business execution, not in core technical philosophy.
In CEP application development, however, real philosophical differences do seem to arise. There are at least three different CEP application development paradigms: Read more
|Categories: Aleri and Coral8, Business intelligence, Microsoft and SQL*Server, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect, StreamBase, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP)||5 Comments|
I’ve been talking to CEP vendors on and off for a few years. So what I hear about performance is fairly patchwork. On the other hand, maybe 1-2+ year-old figures of per-core performance are still meaningful today. After all, Moore’s Law is being reflected more in core count than per-core performance, and it seems CEP vendors’ development efforts haven’t necessarily been concentrated on raw engine speed.
So anyway, what do you guys have to add to the following observations?
- Super-low-latency financial services industry tasks are often “embarrassingly parallel.” Thus, near-linear scale-out is common.
- That said, good parallelism seems fairly new in CEP engines (of course, CEP engines are fairly new themselves — for all I know, some have been parallel since inception).
- I’ve heard claims of up to 400,000 messages/second/core for simple queries or patterns.
- I’ve heard claims of 70,000 messages/core for not-so-simple queries or patterns, and probably higher than that depending on what the meaning of “simple” is.
- IBM just disclosed >15,000 messages/core on a pretty low-powered processor.
- I’ve heard that Coral8, Apama, and StreamBase rarely lost deals due to performance or throughput problems. I’ve heard that the same is not as true of Aleri.
- StreamBase proudly says it’s been fully multithreaded since academic research-project days. For Apama multithreading is evidently a more recent feature. But does it matter much?
|Categories: Aleri and Coral8, IBM and DB2, Memory-centric data management, Progress, Apama, and DataDirect, StreamBase, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP)||13 Comments|
After posting about IBM’s System S/InfoSphere Streams CEP offering, I sent three followup questions over to Jeff Jones. It seems simplest to just post the Q&A verbatim.
1. Just how many processors or cores does it take to get those 5 million messages/sec through? A little birdie says 4,000 cores. Read more
|Categories: Analytic technologies, IBM and DB2, Investment research and trading, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP)||7 Comments|
Microsoft still hasn’t worked out all the kinks regarding when and how intensely to brief me. So most of what I know about their announcement earlier this week of a CEP/stream processing product* is what I garnered on a consulting call in March. That said, I sent Microsoft my notes from that call, they responded quickly and clearly to my question as to what remained under NDA, and for good measure they included a couple of clarifying comments that I’ll copy below.
*”in the SQL Server 2008 R2 timeframe,” about which Microsoft wrote “the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2008 R2 will be available for download in the second half of 2009 and the release is on track to ship in the first half of calendar year 2010. “
Perhaps it is more than coincidence that IBM rushed out its own announcement of an immature CEP technology — due to be more mature in a 2010 release — immediately after Microsoft revealed its plans. Anyhow, taken together, these announcements support my theory that the small independent CEP/stream processing vendors are more or less ceding broad parts of the potential stream processing market.
The main use cases Microsoft talks about for CEP are in the area of sensor data. Read more
|Categories: Analytic technologies, Application areas, Microsoft and SQL*Server, Streaming and complex event processing (CEP)||8 Comments|