Analysis of data warehouse DBMS vendor Greenplum and its successor, EMC’s Data Computing division. Related subjects include:

August 19, 2012

Data warehouse appliance — analytic glossary draft entry

This is a draft entry for the DBMS2 analytic glossary. Please comment with any ideas you have for its improvement!

Note: Words and phrases in italics will be linked to other entries when the glossary is complete.

A data warehouse appliance is a combination of hardware and software that includes an analytic DBMS (DataBase Management System). However, some observers incorrectly apply the term “data warehouse appliance” to any analytic DBMS.

The paradigmatic vendors of data warehouse appliances are:

Further, vendors of analytic DBMS commonly offer — directly or through partnerships — optional data warehouse appliance configurations; examples include:

Oracle Exadata is sometimes regarded as a data warehouse appliance as well, despite not being solely focused on analytic use cases.

Data warehouse appliances inherit marketing claims from the category of analytic DBMS, such as: Read more

August 7, 2012

Notes on some basic database terminology

In a call Monday with a prominent company, I was told:

That, to put it mildly, is not accurate. So I shall try, yet again, to set the record straight.

In an industry where people often call a DBMS just a “database” — so that a database is something that manages a database! — one may wonder why I bother. Anyhow …

1. The products commonly known as Oracle, Exadata, DB2, Sybase, SQL Server, Teradata, Sybase IQ, Netezza, Vertica, Greenplum, Aster, Infobright, SAND, ParAccel, Exasol, Kognitio et al. all either are or incorporate relational database management systems, aka RDBMS or relational DBMS.

2. In principle, there can be difficulties in judging whether or not a DBMS is “relational”. In practice, those difficulties don’t arise — yet. Every significant DBMS still falls into one of two categories:

*I expect the distinction to get more confusing soon, at which point I’ll adopt terms more precise than “relational things” and “relational stuff”.

3. There are two chief kinds of relational DBMS: Read more

March 16, 2012

Juggling analytic databases

I’d like to survey a few related ideas:

Here goes. Read more

February 8, 2012

Comments on the analytic DBMS industry and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for same

This year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems is out.* I shall now comment, just as I did on the 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrants, to varying extents. To frame the discussion, let me start by saying:

*As of February, 2012 — and surely for many months thereafter — Teradata is graciously paying for a link to the report.

Specific company comments, roughly in line with Gartner’s rough single-dimensional rank ordering, include: Read more

February 6, 2012

Comments on the 2012 Forrester Wave: Enterprise Hadoop Solutions

Forrester has released its Q1 2012 Forrester Wave: Enterprise Hadoop Solutions. (Googling turns up a direct link, but in case that doesn’t prove stable, here also is a registration-required link from IBM’s Conor O’Mahony.) My comments include:

November 23, 2011

Hope for a new PostgreSQL era?

In a comedy of briefing errors, I’m not too clear on the details of my client’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:

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.

November 21, 2011

Analytic trends in 2012: Q&A

As a new year approaches, it’s the season for lists, forecasts and general look-ahead. Press interviews of that nature have already begun. And so I’m working on a trilogy of related posts, all based on an inquiry about hot analytic trends for 2012.

This post is a moderately edited form of an actual interview. Two other posts cover analytic trends to watch (planned) and analytic vendor execution challenges to watch (already up).

Read more

September 26, 2011

Highlights of a busy news week

I put up 14 posts over the past week, so perhaps you haven’t had a chance yet to read them all. :) Highlights included:

Most of the posts, however, were reactions to news events. In particular:

September 23, 2011

Some notes on Hadoop (mainly) and appliances

1. EMC Greenplum has evolved its appliance product line. As I read that, the latest announcement boils down to saying that you can neatly network together various Greenplum appliances in quarter-rack increments. If you take a quarter rack each of four different things, then Greenplum says “Hooray! Our appliance is all-in-one!” Big whoop.

2. That said, the Hadoop part of EMC ‘s story is based on MapR, which so far as I can tell is actually a pretty good Hadoop implementation. More precisely, MapR makes strong claims about performance and so on, and Apache Hadoop folks don’t reply “MapR is full of &#$!” Rather, they say “We’re going to close the gap with MapR a lot faster than the MapR folks like to think — and by the way, guys, thanks for the butt-kick.” A lot more precision about MapR may be found in this M. C. Srivas SlideShare.

3. On its latest earnings call, Oracle clearly said it would introduce a Hadoop appliance, versus just hinting at a Hadoop appliance the prior quarter. The money quote was:  Read more

September 22, 2011

Hybrid-columnar soundbites

Busy couple of days talking with reporters. A few notes on hybrid-columnar analytic DBMS, all backed up by yesterday’s post on Teradata columnar:

Edit: The Wall Street Journal got this wrong, writing that Teradata was the first-ever hybrid columnar system. Specifically, they wrote

While columnar technology has been around for years, Teradata says its product is unique because it allows users to include both columns and rows in the same database.

Googling on “Teradata To Unveil New Analytics Product To Speed Business Adoption” might get you around the paywall to see the offending piece.

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