Analysis of columnar data warehouse DBMS vendor ParAccel, maker of PADB (ParAccel Analytic DataBase). Related subjects include:

October 17, 2010

Where ParAccel is at

Until recently, I was extremely critical of ParAccel’s marketing. But there was an almost-clean sweep of the relevant ParAccel executives, and the specific worst practices I was calling out have for the most part been eliminated. So I was open to talking and working with ParAccel again, and that’s now happening. On my recent California trip, I chatted with three ParAccel folks for a few hours. Based on that and other conversation, here’s the current ParAccel story as I understand it.
Read more

August 9, 2010

Links and observations

I’m back from a trip to the SF Bay area, with a lot of writing ahead of me. I’ll dive in with some quick comments here, then write at greater length about some of these points when I can. From my trip:  Read more

June 21, 2010

What kinds of data warehouse load latency are practical?

I took advantage of my recent conversations with Netezza and IBM to discuss what kinds of data warehouse load latency were practical. In both cases I got the impression:

There’s generally a throughput/latency tradeoff, so if you want very low latency with good throughput, you may have to throw a lot of hardware at the problem.

I’d expect to hear similar things from any other vendor with reasonably mature analytic DBMS technology. Low-latency load is a problem for columnar systems, but both Vertica and ParAccel designed in workarounds from the getgo. Aster Data probably didn’t meet these criteria until Version 4.0, its old “frontline” positioning notwithstanding, but I think it does now.

Related link

June 14, 2010

Best practices for analytic DBMS POCs

When you are selecting an analytic DBMS or appliance, most of the evaluation boils down to two questions:

And so, in undertaking such a selection, you need to start by addressing three issues:

Read more

May 12, 2010

Quick reactions to SAP acquiring Sybase

SAP is acquiring Sybase. On the conference call SAP said Sybase would be run as a separate division of SAP (no surprise). Most of the focus was on Sybase’s mobile technology, which is forecast at >$400 million in 2010 revenues (which would be 30%ish of the total). My quick reactions include: Read more

April 16, 2010

Story of an analytic DBMS evaluation

One of our readers was kind enough to walk me through his analytic DBMS evaluation process. The story is:

Notes on the Vertica vs. ParAccel selection include: Read more

March 19, 2010

Vertica update

I caught up with Jerry Held (Chairman) and Dave Menninger (VP Marketing) of Vertica for a chat yesterday. The immediate reason for the call was that a competitor had tipped me off to the departure of Vertica CEO Ralph Breslauer, which of course raises a host of questions. Highlights of the call included:

NDA parts of the conversation also gave me the impression that Vertica is moving forward just as eagerly as its peers. I.e., I didn’t uncover any reason to think that Ralph’s departure is a sign of trouble, of the company being shopped, etc. Read more

January 15, 2010

There sure seem to be a lot of inaccuracies on ParAccel’s website

In what is actually an interesting post on database compression, ParAccel CTO Barry Zane threw in

Anyone who has met with us knows ParAccel shies away from hype.

But like many things ParAccel says, that is not true.

Edit (October, 2010): Like other posts I’ve linked to from Barry Zane’s blog, that one seems to be gone, with the URL redirecting elsewhere on ParAccel’s website.

The latest whoppers came in the form of several customers ParAccel listed on its website who hadn’t actually bought ParAccel’s DBMS, nor even decided to do so. It is fairly common to to claim a customer win, then retract the claim due to lack of permission to disclose. But that’s not what happened in these cases. Based on emails helpfully shared by a ParAccel competitor competing in some of those accounts, it seems clear that ParAccel actually posted fabricated claims of customer wins. Read more

September 30, 2009

Facts and rumors

July 8, 2009

Progress in figuring out what ParAccel is doing

Barry Zane of ParAccel has — finally! — started a blog.  Barrry’s first post, probably in connection with ParAccel’s recent TPC-H submission and subsequent brouhaha, consisted mainly of metaphor + very elementary and well-known arguments for column stores. Barry’s second post, however, was in direct response to Daniel Abadi’s speculation about ParAccel’s architecture.  That post also promises a follow-up addressing the TPC-H in a more substantive way.

(Edit: As of October, 2010, those links have been redirected away from the original posts, which seem to have been taken down.)

Barry’s points include:

Also in the post, Barry:

Anyhow, it’s great to see ParAccel retreating from its obsessive secrecy, which in my opinion has been even worse than Netezza’s used to be.

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