VectorWise

Analysis of VectorWise and its columnar analytic DBMS efforts. Related subjects include:

Actian, which bought VectorWise
Data warehousing
Open source database management systems
Columnar database management systems
MonetDB, a related research project

August 7, 2014

Actian Vector Hadoop Edition

I have a small blacklist of companies I won’t talk with because of their particularly unethical past behavior. Actian is one such; they evidently made stuff up about me that Josh Berkus gullibly posted for them, and I don’t want to have conversations that could be dishonestly used against me.

That said, Peter Boncz isn’t exactly an Actian employee. Rather, he’s the professor who supervised Marcin Zukowski’s PhD thesis that became Vectorwise, and I chatted with Peter by Skype while he was at home in Amsterdam. I believe his assurances that no Actian personnel sat in on the call. :)

In other news, Peter is currently working on and optimistic about HyPer. But we literally spent less than a minute talking about that

Before I get to the substance, there’s been a lot of renaming at Actian. To quote Andrew Brust,

… the ParAccel, Pervasive and Vectorwise technologies are being unified under the Actian Analytics Platform brand. Specifically, the ParAccel technology … is being re-branded Actian Matrix; Pervasive’s technologies are rechristened Actian DataFlow and Actian DataConnect; and Vectorwise becomes Actian Vector.

and

Actian … is now “one company, with one voice and one platform” according to its John Santaferraro

The bolded part of the latter quote is untrue — at least in the ordinary sense of the word “one” — but the rest can presumably be taken as company gospel.

All this is by way of preamble to saying that Peter reached out to me about Actian’s new Vector Hadoop Edition when he blogged about it last June, and we finally talked this week. Highlights include:  Read more

April 29, 2013

More on Actian/ParAccel/VectorWise/Versant/etc.

My quick reaction to the Actian/ParAccel deal was negative. A few challenges to my views then emerged. They didn’t really change my mind.

Amazon Redshift

Amazon did a deal with ParAccel that amounted to:

Some argue that this is great for ParAccel’s future prospects. I’m not convinced.

No doubt there are and will be Redshift users, evidently including Infor. But so far as I can tell, Redshift uses very standard SQL, so it doesn’t seed a ParAccel market in terms of developer habits. The administration/operation story is similar. So outside of general validation/bragging rights, Redshift is not a big deal for ParAccel.

OEMs and bragging rights

It’s not just Amazon and Infor; there’s also a MicroStrategy deal to OEM ParAccel — I think it’s the real ParAccel software in that case — for a particular service, MicroStrategy Wisdom. But unless I’m terribly mistaken, HP Vertica, Sybase IQ and even Infobright each have a lot more OEMs than ParAccel, just as they have a lot more customers than ParAccel overall.

This OEM success is a great validation for the idea of columnar analytic RDBMS in general, but I don’t see where it’s an advantage for ParAccel vs. the columnar leaders. Read more

April 25, 2013

Goodbye VectorWise, farewell ParAccel?

Actian, which already owns VectorWise, is also buying ParAccel. The argument for why this kills VectorWise is simple. ParAccel does most things VectorWise does, more or less as well. It also does a lot more:

One might conjecture that ParAccel is bad at highly concurrent, single-node use cases, and VectorWise is better at them — but at the link above, ParAccel bragged of supporting 5,000 concurrent connections. Besides, if one is just looking for a high-use reporting server, why not get Sybase IQ?? Anyhow, Actian hasn’t been investing enough in VectorWise to make it a major market player, and they’re unlikely to start now that they own ParAccel as well.

But I expect ParAccel to fail too. Reasons include:

Read more

February 5, 2013

Comments on Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — evaluations

To my taste, the most glaring mis-rankings in the 2012/2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management are that it is too positive on Kognitio and too negative on Infobright. Secondarily, it is too negative on HP Vertica, and too positive on ParAccel and Actian/VectorWise. So let’s consider those vendors first.

Gartner seems confused about Kognitio’s products and history alike.

Gartner is correct, however, to note that Kognitio doesn’t sell much stuff overall.

* non-existent

In the cases of HP Vertica, Infobright, ParAccel, and Actian/VectorWise, the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management’s facts are fairly accurate, but I dispute Gartner’s evaluation. When it comes to Vertica: 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 25, 2011

Ingres deemphasized, company now named Actian

Ingres, the company, is:

It turns out that Actian was the name of an ancient athletic competition commemorating Augustus’ defeat of Anthony at Actium, a battle that was more recently memorialized in the movie Cleopatra. Frankly, I think Cleopatra Software might have been a more interesting company name, although that could mean execs would have to arrive at sales calls rolled up in a carpet.

Read more

July 6, 2011

Hadapt update

I met with the Hadapt guys today.  I think I can be a bit crisper than before in positioning Hadapt and its use cases, namely:

Other evolution from what I wrote about Hadapt a few months ago includes:

In other news, Hadapt is our newest client.

March 23, 2011

Hadapt (commercialized HadoopDB)

The HadoopDB company Hadapt is finally launching, based on the HadoopDB project, albeit with code rewritten from scratch. As you may recall, the core idea of HadoopDB is to put a DBMS on every node, and use MapReduce to talk to the whole database. The idea is to get the same SQL/MapReduce integration as you get if you use Hive, but with much better performance* and perhaps somewhat better SQL functionality.** Advantages vs. a DBMS-based analytic platform that includes MapReduce — e.g. Aster Data — are less clear.  Read more

June 11, 2010

Ingres VectorWise technical highlights

After working through problems w/ travel, cell phones, and so on, Peter Boncz of VectorWise finally caught up with me for a regrettably brief call. Peter gave me the strong impression that what I’d written in the past about VectorWise had been and remained accurate, so I focused on filling in the gaps. Highlights included:  Read more

June 10, 2010

Fun with quotes in the VectorWise press release

Ingres forgot to prebrief me on the VectorWise announcement, and despite valiant efforts hasn’t succeeded in connecting with me since they realized the lapse. Meanwhile, I took a look at the VectorWise press release, and found the quotes to be somewhat amusing.
Read more

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