Aster Data

Analysis of data warehouse DBMS vendor Aster Data. Related subjects include:

September 5, 2011

Data management at Zynga and LinkedIn

Mike Driscoll and his Metamarkets colleagues organized a bit of a bash Thursday night. Among the many folks I chatted with were Ken Rudin of Zynga, Sam Shah of LinkedIn, and D. J. Patil, late of LinkedIn. I now know more about analytic data management at Zynga and LinkedIn, plus some bonus stuff on LinkedIn’s People You May Know application. 🙂

It’s blindingly obvious that Zynga is one of Vertica’s petabyte-scale customers, given that Zynga sends 5 TB/day of data into Vertica, and keeps that data for about a year. (Zynga may retain even more data going forward; in particular, Zynga regrets ever having thrown out the first month of data for any game it’s tried to launch.) This is game actions, for the most part, rather than log files; true logs generally go into Splunk.

I don’t know whether the missing data is completely thrown away, or just stashed on inaccessible tapes somewhere.

I found two aspects of the Zynga story particularly interesting. First, those 5 TB/day are going straight into Vertica (from, I presume, memcached/Membase/Couchbase), as Zynga decided that sending the data to some kind of log first was more trouble than it’s worth. Second, there’s Zynga’s approach to analytic database design. Highlights of that include: 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 The old EDW/data mart dichotomy is hopelessly outdated for that purpose, and adding a third category for “big data” is little help.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 15, 2011

Notes and links, June 15, 2011

Five things:  Read more

May 14, 2011

Alternatives for Hadoop/MapReduce data storage and management

There’s been a flurry of announcements recently in the Hadoop world. Much of it has been concentrated on Hadoop data storage and management. This is understandable, since HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) is quite a young (i.e. immature) system, with much strengthening and Bottleneck Whack-A-Mole remaining in its future.

Known HDFS and Hadoop data storage and management issues include but are not limited to:

Different entities have different ideas about how such deficiencies should be addressed.  Read more

April 21, 2011

In-memory, parallel, not-in-database SAS HPA does make sense after all

I talked with SAS about its new approach to parallel modeling. The two key points are:

The whole thing is called SAS HPA (High-Performance Analytics), in an obvious reference to HPC (High-Performance Computing). It will run initially on RAM-heavy appliances from Teradata and EMC Greenplum.

A lot of what’s going on here is that SAS found it annoyingly difficult to parallelize modeling within the framework of a massively parallel DBMS such as Teradata. Notes on that aspect include:

Read more

April 6, 2011

So can logistic regression be parallelized or not?

A core point in SAS’ pitch for its new MPI (Message-Passing Interface) in-memory technology seems to be logistic regression is really important, and shared-nothing MPP doesn’t let you parallelize it. The Mahout/Hadoop folks also seem to despair of parallelizing logistic regression.

On the other hand, Aster Data said it had parallelized logistic regression a year ago. (Slides 6-7 from a mid-2010 Aster deck may be clearer.) I’m guessing Fuzzy Logix might make a similar claim, although I’m not really sure.

What gives?

April 5, 2011

Comments on EMC Greenplum

I am annoyed with my former friends at Greenplum, who took umbrage at a brief sentence I wrote in October, namely “eBay has thrown out Greenplum“.  Their reaction included:

The last one really hurt, because in trusting them, I put in quite a bit of effort, and discussed their promise with quite a few other people.

Read more

March 4, 2011

Teradata, Aster Data, and Teradata/Aster

Teradata is acquiring Aster Data. Naturally, the deal is being presented with a Treaty of Tordesillas kind of positioning — Teradata does X, Aster Data does Y, and everybody looks forward to having X and Y in the same product portfolio. That said, my initial positioning and product strategy thoughts on the Teradata/Aster combination go something like this.  Read more

February 28, 2011

Updating our vendor client disclosures

Edit: This disclosure has been superseded by a March, 2012 version.

From time to time, I disclose our vendor client lists. Another iteration is below. To be clear:

With that said, our vendor client disclosures at this time are:

Read more

February 12, 2011

Upcoming webinar on investigative analytics

I recently coined the phrase investigative analytics to conflate

This will be be basis for my part of a webcast on March 10 at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern time. The other main part of the webcast will be a demo by the webcast’s joint sponsors Aster Data and Tableau Software.

Some of Aster’s verbiage in describing and titling the webinar is so hyperbolic that I do not want to give the impression of endorsing it. But I am very hopeful that the webinar itself will be interesting and informative, and will point people at least somewhat in the direction of the benefits Aster is claiming.

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