Data warehousing update

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A variety of interesting things have happened in the data warehousing space recently. New releases are always occurring so Aster Data’s release of version 4.0 comes as no surprise. More interesting is what’s been going on at Dataupia, Calpont and InfoBright.

We had all thought that Dataupia was on the way to be being dead and buried but I am pleased to say that it is now out of intensive care and on the road to recovery: the company has had a new injection of funds and company founder and former CEO Foster Hinshaw is back in that position after recovering from bypass surgery. At the same time the company is recruiting again after its hiatus in the summer. I still think that Dataupia is a better option than Exadata if you’re an existing Oracle user that doesn’t want to move away from an Oracle environment. In any case you should look at it as a serious possibility: if you’re interested in Exadata’s semi-appliance then why not go the whole hog and do it properly?

InfoBright has also got a new CEO recently, Mark Burton, and this seems to herald something of a shift in the company’s plans. To date, the company has focused on the low end of the market with a single server offering and it had previously announced that it would be introducing a multi-server platform during the final quarter of this year. This will not now happen, at least in this timeframe, and the company is expected to release a statement of direction early next year. For the time being it is focusing on departmental data marts and warehouses for small companies that do not need either an MPP or multi-server solution. This strategy has been clearly successful, with the company being one of very few of the new vendors to have more than 100 customers (the others being Netezza, Vertica and, shortly, Greenplum), so it is not unreasonable that the company wants to continue in the same vein. However, it does pose a question mark about scalability.

The company looking to take advantage of this question mark is Calpont, which has finally (after several false starts) come to market with its open source InfiniDB product. Now, InfiniDB is in the same market as Kickfire and InfoBright in that all three of these are targeted at companies with MySQL skills. Note that these are not necessarily MySQL upgrades (though they may be) but simply systems designed to leverage MySQL skills, though they work perfectly well even if you don’t have these. But, unlike Kickfire and InfoBright, Calpont has already announced an early adopter program for the MPP version of InfiniDB. In other words, while it will aim to compete at the low-end with both of the other two (and a host of others: Kognitio and EXASOL have both captured previous MySQL accounts and no doubt others have too), it will also be able to offer the scalability that these direct competitors cannot. Also, bearing in mind that Greenplum is no longer an open source vendor, this will make Calpont the only truly scalable open source data warehousing supplier apart from VectorNova, at least until Ingres VectorWise comes out next year or until InfoBright goes ahead with its multi-server offering. Of course the question mark for Calpont is how big this sub-market (for large-scale, MySQL-based open source analytic platforms) is and how much of it Calpont can take. That will depend on how good InfiniDB is: more of that in due course.