Sybase

Analysis of Sybase and its various product lines, such as Sybase IQ. Related subjects include:

October 6, 2012

Analyzing big companies is hard

Analyzing companies of any size is hard. Analyzing large ones, however, is harder yet.

Such limitations should be borne in mind in connection with anything I write about, for example, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, or SAP.

There are many reasons for large companies to communicate less usefully with analysts than smaller ones do. Some of the biggest are:

Read more

August 19, 2012

In-database analytics — 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.

“In-database analytics” is a catch-all term for analytic capabilities, beyond standard SQL, running on the same machine as and under the management of an analytic DBMS. These can run in one or both of two modes:

In-database analytics may offer great performance and scalability advantages versus the alternative of extracting data and having it be processed on a separate server. This is particularly likely to be the case in MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) analytic DBMS environments.

Examples of in-database analytics include:

Other common domains for in-database analytics include sessionization, time series analysis, and relationship analytics.

Notable products offering in-database analytics include:

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

November 28, 2011

Terminology: Data mustering

I find myself in need of a word or phrase that means bring data together from various sources so that it’s ready to be used, where the use can be analysis or operations. The first words I thought of were “aggregation” and “collection,” but they both have other meanings in IT. Even “data marshalling” has a specific meaning different from what I want. So instead, I’ll go with data mustering.

I mean for the term “data mustering” to encompass at least three scenarios:

Let me explain what I mean by each.  Read more

November 12, 2011

Exasol update

I last wrote about Exasol in 2008. After talking with the team Friday, I’m fixing that now. :) The general theme was as you’d expect: Since last we talked, Exasol has added some new management, put some effort into sales and marketing, got some customers, kept enhancing the product and so on.

Top-level points included:

Read more

November 10, 2011

Very brief CEP/streaming catchup

When I agreed to launch the StreamBase LiveView product via DBMS 2, I planned to catch up on the whole CEP/streaming area first. Due to the power and internet outages last week, that didn’t entirely happen. So I’ll do a bit of that now, albeit more cryptically than I hoped and intended.

Meanwhile, if you want to see technically nitty-gritty posts about the CEP/streaming area, you may want to look at my CEP/streaming coverage circa 2007-9, based on conversations with (among others) Mike Stonebraker, John Bates, and Mark Tsimelzon.

October 13, 2011

Compression in Sybase ASE 15.7

Sybase recently came up with Adaptive Server Enterprise 15.7, which is essentially the “Make SAP happy” release. Features that were slated for 2012 release, but which SAP wanted, were accelerated into 2011. Features that weren’t slated for 2012, but which SAP wanted, were also brought into 2011. Not coincidentally, SAP Business Suite will soon run on Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise 15.7.

15.7 turns out to be the first release of Sybase ASE with data compression. Sybase fondly believes that it is matching DB2 and leapfrogging Oracle in compression rate with a single compression scheme, namely page-level tokenization. More precisely, SAP and Sybase seem to believe that about compression rates for actual SAP application databases, based on some degree of testing.   Read more

August 26, 2011

Virtual data marts in Sybase IQ

I made a few remarks about Sybase IQ 15.3 when it became generally available in July. Now that I’ve had a current briefing, I’ll make a few more.

The key enhancement in Sybase IQ 15.3 is distributed query — what others might call parallel query — aka PlexQ. A Sybase IQ query can now be distributed among many nodes, all talking to the same SAN (Storage-Area Network). Any Sybase IQ node can take the responsibility of being the “leader” for that particular query.

In itself, this isn’t that impressive; all the same things could have been said about pre-Exadata Oracle.* But PlexQ goes somewhat further than just removing a bottleneck from Sybase IQ. Notably, Sybase has rolled out a virtual data mart capability. Highlights of the Sybase IQ virtual data mart story include:   Read more

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