Emulation, transparency, portability

Analysis of products that support the emulation of market-leading database management systems. Related subjects include:

May 30, 2008

ANTs bails out of the DBMS market

ANTs Data Server — i.e., the ANTs DBMS — has been sold off to a company called 4Js. It is now to be called Genero DB. Actually, 4Js has been selling or working on a version of the product called Genero DB since 2006, specifically an Informix-compatible one.

I’m not totally clear on why an Informix-compatible DBMS is needed in a world that already has Informix SE, but maybe IBM is overcharging for maintenance even on the low-end version of the product.

Meanwhile, ANTs, which had originally tried to get enterprises to migrate away from Oracle, is now focused on middleware called the ANTs Compatibility Server to help them migrate to Oracle, specifically/initially from Sybase.

May 8, 2008

Database blades are not what they used to be

In which we bring you another instantiation of Monash’s First Law of Commercial Semantics: Bad jargon drives out good.

When Enterprise DB announced a partnership with Truviso for a “blade,” I naturally assumed they were using the term in a more-or-less standard way, and hence believed that it was more than a “Barney” press release.* Silly me. Rather than referring to something closely akin to “datablade,” EnterpriseDB’s “blade” program turns out to just to be a catchall set of partnerships.

*A “Barney” announcement is one whose entire content boils down to “I love you; you love me.”

According to EnterpriseDB CTO Bob Zurek, the main features of the “blade” program include: Read more

March 25, 2008

EnterpriseDB unveils Postgres Plus

EnterpriseDB is making a series of moves and announcements. Highlights include:

So far as I can tell, most of the technical differences between Advanced Server and regular Postgres Plus lie in three areas: Read more

March 14, 2008

Dataupia catch-up

I had a catch-up phone meeting with Dataupia, since I hadn’t spoke with the company since the middle of last year. Like several other companies in the data warehouse specialist market, Dataupia can be annoyingly secretive. On the plus side – and this is very refreshing — Dataupia doesn’t seem to expect credit for accomplishments beyond those they’re willing to provide actual evidence for.

What I’ve gleaned about Dataupia’s customer activity to date amounts to: Read more

March 6, 2008

Who EnterpriseDB sells to

I previously wrote that EnterpriseDB-on-Elastra has very little enterprise traction, drawing most of its interest instead from online businesses or ISVs. Having used that as a starting point in a recent chat with EnterpriseDB marketing chief Derek Rodner, I can now add that overall:

February 18, 2008

ParAccel technical highlights

I recently caught up with ParAccel’s CTO Barry Zane and Marketing VP Kim Stanick for a long technical discussion, which they have graciously continued by email. It would be impolitic in the extreme to comment on what led up to that. Let’s just note that many things I’ve previously written about ParAccel are now inoperative, and go straight to the highlights.

Read more

December 5, 2007

Just what does Oracle-compatibility mean?

Quite a bit of DBMS plug-compatibility is being claimed these days. Lewis Cunningham’s post on a few new EnterpriseDB features illustrates just how picky compatibility features can get. One can run Oracle code but not get around to handling comments properly? Sheesh.

October 29, 2007

ParAccel opens the kimono slightly

Please do not rely on the parts of this post that draw a distinction between in-memory and disk-based operation. See our February 18, 2008 post about ParAccel instead. It turns out that communication with ParAccel was yet worse than I had realized.

Officially launched today at the TDWI conference, ParAccel is out to compete with Netezza. Right out of the chute, ParAccel may have surpassed Netezza in at least one area: pointlessly annoying secrecy. (In other regards I love them dearly, but that paranoia can be a real pain.) As best I can remember, here are some things about ParAccel that I both am allowed to say and find interesting:

Read more

October 19, 2007

Webinar on mid-range OLTP DBMS Tuesday October 23 12 noon Eastern time

I’m doing another webinar on mid-range OLTP DBMS next Tuesday, at 12 noon Eastern. It’s sponsored by EnterpriseDB, who also sponsored one six months ago on the same subject. Hopefully, this one will be a bit fresher. Sign up today! The expected turnout is humongous.

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October 12, 2007

Three ways Oracle or Microsoft could go MPP

I’ve been arguing for a while that Oracle and Microsoft are screwed in high-end data warehousing. The reason is that they’re stuck with SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) architectures, while Teradata, Netezza, DATAllegro, and many others enjoy the benefits of MPP (Massively Parallel Processing). Thus, Teradata and DATAllegro boast installations in the hundreds of terabytes each, while Oracle and Microsoft users usually have to perform unnatural acts of hard-coded partitioning even to reach the 10 terabyte level.

That said, there are at least three ways Oracle and/or Microsoft could get out of this technical box:

1. They could buy or just partner with MPP vendors such as Dataupia, who offer plug-compatibility with their respective main DBMS.

2. They could buy whoever they want, plug-compatibility be damned. Presumably, they’d quickly add a light-weight data federation front-end to give the appearance of integration, then merge the products more closely over time.

3. They could develop or buy technology like DATAllegro’s, which essentially federates instances of an ordinary SMP DBMS across nodes of an MPP grid (Greenplum does something similar). I imagine that, for example, ripping Ingres out of DATAllegro and slotting in Oracle instead would be a pretty straightforward exercise; even without dramatic change to any of the optimizations, the resulting port would be something that ran pretty quickly on Day 1.

Bottom line: Oracle and Microsoft are hemorrhaging at the data warehouse high end now. But there are ways they could stanch the bleeding.

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