Actian and Ingres

Analysis of Actian — formerly Ingres — and its products. Related subjects include:

Actian product VectorWise
Open source database management systems
(in Software Memories) Historical notes on Ingres

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

February 11, 2010

Intelligent Enterprise’s Editors’/Editor’s Choice list for 2010

As he has before, Intelligent Enterprise Editor Doug Henschen

(Actually, he’s really called it an “award.”)

Read more

February 10, 2010

Comments on the Gartner 2009/2010 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant

February, 2011 edit: I’ve now commented on Gartner’s 2010 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant as well.

At intervals of a little over a year, Gartner Group publishes a Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant. Gartner’s 2009 data warehouse DBMS Magic Quadrant — actually, January 2010 — is now out.* For many reasons, including those I noted in my comments on Gartner’s 2008 Data Warehouse DBMS Magic Quadrant, the Gartner quadrant pictures are a bad use of good research. Rather than rehash that this year, I’ll merely call out some points in the surrounding commentary that I find interesting or just plain strange. Read more

August 4, 2009

VectorWise, Ingres, and MonetDB

I talked with Peter Boncz and Marcin Zukowski of VectorWise last Wednesday, but didn’t get around to writing about VectorWise immediately. Since then, VectorWise and its partner Ingres have gotten considerable coverage, especially from an enthusiastic Daniel Abadi. Basic facts that you may already know include:

Read more

April 2, 2009

Ingres update

I talked with Ingres today. Much of the call was fluff — open-source rah-rah, plus some numbers showing purported success, but so finely parsed as to be pretty meaningless. (To Ingres’ credit, they did offer to let me talk w/ their CFO, even if they offered no promises as to whether he’d offer any more substantive information.) Highlights included: Read more

March 18, 2009

Database implications if IBM acquires Sun

Reported or rumored merger discussions between IBM and Sun are generating huge amounts of discussion today (some links below). Here are some quick thoughts around the subject of how the IBM/Sun deal — if it happens — might affect the database management system industry. Read more

February 16, 2009

25 facts about Ingres, give or take a couple

Emma McGrattan of Ingres offers a “25 facts” post about Ingres. 24 really are about Ingres. Some are interesting (who knew Ingres still used a lot of Quel?). Some are if anything understated — e.g., there are lots of current CEOs who are Ingres alums (Dave Kellogg and Dennis Moore jump to mind). Only one is a real eyebrow-raiser.

Point 23 says “The average tenure of an Ingres Engineer is 15+ years.”  On the other hand, Point 3 says “The longest serving member of Ingres staff is John Smedley who has been with us since June of 1987.”  And most of Ingres’ technical staff left after Ingres was acquired by CA, which occurred a few months shy of 15 years ago. Reconciling all that is challenging.

Actually, I was dubious about a second claim too, namely that Ingres/Star was the first distributed DBMS; I thought that the distributed version of Tandem NonStop SQL actually predated it by a few years. But a somewhat contemporaneous article with a number of distributed DBMS dates shows my memory was wrong on that score.

January 12, 2009

Gartner’s 2008 data warehouse database management system Magic Quadrant is out

February, 2011 edit: I’ve now commented on Gartner’s 2010 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant as well.

Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant for data warehouse DBMS is out.  Thankfully, vendors don’t seem to be taking it as seriously as usual, so I didn’t immediately hear about it.  (I finally noticed it in a Greenplum pay-per-click ad.)  Links to Gartner MQs tend to come and go, but as of now here are two working links to the 2008 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management System MQ.  My posts on the 2007 and 2006 MQs have also been updated with working links. Read more

January 22, 2008

What leading DBMS vendors don’t want you to realize

For very high-end applications, the list of viable database management systems is short. Scalability can be a problem. (The rankings of most scalable alternatives differ in the OLTP and data warehouse realms.) Extreme levels of security can be had from only a few DBMS. (Oracle would have you believe there’s only one choice.) And if you truly need 99.99% uptime, there only are a few DBMS you even should consider.

But for most applications at any enterprise – and for all applications at most enterprises – super high-end DBMS aren’t required. There are relatively few applications that wouldn’t run perfectly well on PostgreSQL or EnterpriseDB today. Ingres and Progress OpenEdge aren’t far behind (they’re a little lacking in datatype support). Ditto Intersystems Cache’, although the nonrelational architecture will be off-putting to many. And to varying degrees, you can also do fine with MySQL, Pervasive PSQL, MaxDB, or a variety of other products – or for that matter with the cheap or free crippled versions of Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, and Informix.

What’s more, these mid-range database management systems can have significant advantages over their high-end brethren. Read more

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