EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus
Analysis of EnterpriseDB and especially its PostgreSQL-based Postgres Plus product line. Related subjects include:
As part of my series on the keys to and likelihood of success, I outlined some examples from the DBMS industry. The list turned out too long for a single post, so I split it up by millennia. The part on 20th Century DBMS success and failure went up Friday; in this one I’ll cover more recent events, organized in line with the original overview post. Categories addressed will include analytic RDBMS (including data warehouse appliances), NoSQL/non-SQL short-request DBMS, MySQL, PostgreSQL, NewSQL and Hadoop.
DBMS rarely have trouble with the criterion “Is there an identifiable buying process?” If an enterprise is doing application development projects, a DBMS is generally chosen for each one. And so the organization will generally have a process in place for buying DBMS, or accepting them for free. Central IT, departments, and — at least in the case of free open source stuff — developers all commonly have the capacity for DBMS acquisition.
In particular, at many enterprises either departments have the ability to buy their own analytic technology, or else IT will willingly buy and administer things for a single department. This dynamic fueled much of the early rise of analytic RDBMS.
Buyer inertia is a greater concern.
- A significant minority of enterprises are highly committed to their enterprise DBMS standards.
- Another significant minority aren’t quite as committed, but set pretty high bars for new DBMS products to cross nonetheless.
- FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) about new DBMS is often justifiable, about stability and consistent performance alike.
A particularly complex version of this dynamic has played out in the market for analytic RDBMS/appliances.
- First the newer products (from Netezza onwards) were sold to organizations who knew they wanted great performance or price/performance.
- Then it became more about selling “business value” to organizations who needed more convincing about the benefits of great price/performance.
- Then the behemoth vendors became more competitive, as Teradata introduced lower-price models, Oracle introduced Exadata, Sybase got more aggressive with Sybase IQ, IBM bought Netezza, EMC bought Greenplum, HP bought Vertica and so on. It is now hard for a non-behemoth analytic RDBMS vendor to make headway at large enterprise accounts.
- Meanwhile, Hadoop has emerged as serious competitor for at least some analytic data management, especially but not only at internet companies.
Otherwise I’d say: Read more
The 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems is out. “Operational” seems to be Gartner’s term for what I call short-request, in each case the point being that OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) is a dubious term when systems omit strict consistency, and when even strictly consistent systems may lack full transactional semantics. As is usually the case with Gartner Magic Quadrants:
- I admire the raw research.
- The opinions contained are generally reasonable (especially since Merv Adrian joined the Gartner team).
- Some of the details are questionable.
- There’s generally an excessive focus on Gartner’s perception of vendors’ business skills, and on vendors’ willingness to parrot all the buzzphrases Gartner wants to hear.
- The trends Gartner highlights are similar to those I see, although our emphasis may be different, and they may leave some important ones out. (Big omission — support for lightweight analytics integrated into operational applications, one of the more genuine forms of real-time analytics.)
Anyhow: Read more
In a comedy of briefing errors, I’m not too clear on the details of my client salesforce.com’s new PostgreSQL-as-a-service offering, nor exactly on what my clients at VMware are bringing to the PostgreSQL virtualization/cloud party. That said:
- PostgreSQL is good technology.
- MySQL is narrowing the gap, but PostgreSQL is still ahead of MySQL in some ways. (Database extensibility if nothing else.)
- PostgreSQL has a lot of users. (Many of them in academia and/or Russia.)
- Neither EnterpriseDB (which now calls itself “The enterprise PostgreSQL company”) nor the PostgreSQL community leadership have covered themselves with stewardship glory.
- A significant number of interesting DBMS products can be regarded as PostgreSQL forks (e.g. Greenplum, Aster Data nCluster, Netezza if you squint, and Vertica if you stand on your head*).
- PostgreSQL advancement is not dead. For example, Hadapt beta users are running actual PostgreSQL on many nodes each.
- There’s no assurance that Oracle will be a benevolent MySQL steward forever. (Specifically, Oracle’s “Play nicely with others” antitrust commitments expire in 2014.)
So I think it would be cool if one or the other big company put significant wood behind the PostgreSQL arrow.
*While Vertica was originally released using little or no PostgreSQL code — reports varied — it featured high degrees of PostgreSQL compatibility.
|Categories: Aster Data, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, Greenplum, MySQL, Netezza, Open source, salesforce.com, Vertica Systems||8 Comments|
In no particular order: Read more
|Categories: Business intelligence, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, Fun stuff, Hadoop, Humor, In-memory DBMS, MapReduce, Memory-centric data management, Open source, Oracle, SAP AG||2 Comments|
EnterpriseDB has some deplorable business practices (my stories of being screwed by EnterpriseDB have been met by “Well, you’re hardly the only one”). But a couple of more successful DBMS vendors have happily partnered with EnterpriseDB even so, to help pick off Oracle users. IBM’s approach was in the vein of an EnterpriseDB-infused version of SQL handling within DB2.* Netezza just announced an EnterpriseDB-based Netezza Migrator that is rather different.
*The comment threads are the most informative parts of those posts.
I’m a little unclear as to the Netezza Migrator details, not least because Netezza folks don’t seem to care too much about Netezza Migrator themselves. That said, the core ideas of Netezza Migrator are: Read more
|Categories: Data integration and middleware, Data warehousing, Emulation, transparency, portability, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, Netezza, Oracle||19 Comments|
The past few years have seen a spate of startups in the analytic DBMS business. Netezza, Vertica, Greenplum, Aster Data and others are all reasonably prosperous, alongside older specialty product vendors Teradata and Sybase (the Sybase IQ part). OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) and general purpose DBMS startups, however, have not yet done as well, with such success as there has been (MySQL, Intersystems Cache’, solidDB’s exit, etc.) generally accruing to products that originated in the 20th Century.
Nonetheless, OLTP/general-purpose data management startup activity has recently picked up, targeting what I see as some very real opportunities and needs. So as a jumping-off point for further writing, I thought it might be interesting to collect a few observations about the market in one place. These include:
- Big-brand OLTP/general-purpose DBMS have more “stickiness” than analytic DBMS.
- By number, most of an enterprise’s OLTP/general-purpose databases are low-volume and low-value.
- Most interesting new OLTP/general-purpose data management products are either MySQL-based or NoSQL.
- It’s not yet clear whether MySQL will prevail over MySQL forks, or vice-versa, or whether they will co-exist.
- The era of silicon-centric relational DBMS is coming.
- The emphasis on scale-out and reducing the cost of joins spans the NoSQL and SQL-based worlds.
- Users’ instance on “free” could be a major problem for OLTP DBMS innovation.
I shall explain. Read more
Greenplum is announcing today that you can run Greenplum software on a single 8-core commodity server, free. First and foremost, that’s a strong statement that Greenplum wants enterprises to pay it for Greenplum’s parallelization/”private cloud” capabilities. Second, it may be an attractive gift to a variety of folks who want to extract insight from terabyte-scale databases of various kinds.
Greenplum Single-Node Edition:
- Is free of charge, although you can buy support.
- Has no restrictions on use, production or otherwise.
- Has no restrictions on database size.
- Is closed-source.
For those who want free, terabyte-scale data warehousing software, Greenplum Single-Node Edition may be quite appealing, considering that the main available alternatives are:
- General-purpose open-source DBMS, such as PostgreSQL and MySQL (lacking analytic DBMS performance and features)
- Infobright Community Edition (the other best choice – Infobright’s commercial sales success indicates the solidity of Infobright’s technology)
- Rough research-project code and other other questionable open source offerings
- Crippleware from other commercial analytic DBMS vendors (e.g., Teradata)
For example, comparing PostgreSQL-based Greenplum with PostgreSQL itself, Greenplum offers:
- The ability to scale out queries across all cores in your box (and no, pgpool is not a serious alternative)
- Storage alternatives such as columnar (I am told that EnterpriseDB recently stopped funding a project for a PostgreSQL columnar option)
|Categories: Analytic technologies, Data warehousing, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, Greenplum, Infobright, Open source, PostgreSQL, Pricing, Scientific research||12 Comments|
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.
|Categories: Cache, Clustering, Data mart outsourcing, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, In-memory DBMS, Memory-centric data management, MySQL, OLTP, Open source, Parallelization, PostgreSQL, Software as a Service (SaaS), Vertica Systems||30 Comments|
EnterpriseDB seems to be facing a string of management departures:
- Bob Zurek, EnterpriseDB’s well-regarded CTO, is gone. (He landed at Infobright, after a stint of independent consulting.)
- Multiple rumors have founder Andy Astor leaving EnterpriseDB, and stepping back to an advisory role. One version has Tuesday, June 16 as Andy’s last day. Update: As of Wednesday, June 17, Andy Astor is no longer listed as being on EnterpriseDB’s management team.
- Fred Holahan, who was briefly VP of Marketing, is not listed on EnterpriseDB’s management team web page. And EnterpriseDB announced a new VP of Marketing and Product Management on May 21.
- Other rumors point to turmoil at EnterpriseDB as well.
And by the way, EnterpriseDB, which used to call itself “the Oracle-compatible database company,” recently licensed out what used to be its core differentiating technology.
Now, this isn’t all bad news. EnterpriseDB’s Oracle-compatibility focus had to be changed anyway. And Fred Holahan was the proximate cause for me writing:
my recent dealings with EnterpriseDB underscore the importance of being VERY careful about counting your fingers after you shake hands with that company,
Still, these aren’t exactly indicators of a company executing on a smooth-running plan.
I’ve now had a chance to talk with IBM about its recently-announced Oracle emulation strategy for DB2. (This is for DB2 9.7, which I gather has been quasi-announced in April, will be re-announced in May, and will be re-re-announced as being in general availability in June.)
Key points include:
- This really is more like Oracle emulation than it is transparency, a term I carelessly used before.
- IBM’s Oracle emulation effort is focused on two technological goals:
- Making it easy for an Oracle application to be ported to DB2.
- Making it easy for an Oracle developer to develop for DB2.
- The initial target market for DB2’s Oracle emulation is ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) much more than it is enterprises. IBM suggested there were a couple hundred early adopters, and those are primarily in the ISV area.
Because of Oracle’s market share, many ISVs focus on Oracle as the underlying database management system for their applications, whether or not they actually resell it along with their own software. IBM proposed three reasons why such ISVs might want to support DB2: Read more
|Categories: Data types, Emulation, transparency, portability, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, GIS and geospatial, IBM and DB2, Market share and customer counts, Oracle, Pricing, Structured documents, Text||12 Comments|