Akiban, formerly Akiba
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
Akiban responded quickly to my complaints about its communication style, and I chatted for a couple of hours with senior Akiban techies Ori Herrnstadt, Peter Beaman and Jack Orenstein. It’s still early days for Akiban product development, so some details haven’t been determined yet, and others I just haven’t yet pinned down. Still, I know a lot more than I did a day ago. Highlights of my talk with Akiban included: Read more
Some notes based on what I’ve been reading recently: Read more
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Edit: Akiban has reached out to me after this post and told me a number of my guesses about them are wrong. Stay tuned.
Further edit: I’ve now posted again about Akiban, this time based on actually talking with the company.
Stealth company Akiba has renamed itself Akiban and posted what they call a “five-minute” video.* Apparently, the idea is to improve analytic query performance by denormalizing your data structure. I have no idea how this is different from denormalizing your data model in your existing DBMS, but I’ll admit to fast forwarding through the slides rather than listening to whatever the audio said.
*It’s actually 7:59 long, but who said DBMS developers should ever be believed about anything to do with schedules?
I do know one favorable thing about Akiban/Akiba, which is that Dan Weinreb is or was involved with them in some kind of angel/advisory capacity. Beyond that, all I know is that they’re in the analytic DBMS business, they’ve posted a video, they’re located in the Boston area, and they probably want people to believe that their extreme stealthiness is a sign of self-importance.
Well, there’s also what one can see on LinkedIn.