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In our recent report on the data warehousing market we speculated that there would soon be a change in the number of vendors operating in what is a crowded market. We were anticipating that the number of vendors would go down, rather than up, but - in the short term at least - we have been proved wrong, as two new open source analytical databases emerged this week.
First came the formation of Dynamo Business Intelligence Corp, (aka Dynamo BI), a new commercially supported distribution, and sponsor, of LucidDB. Then came the launch of InfiniDB Community Edition, a new open source analytic database based on MySQL from Calpont.
Read the rest of[Read more...]
By now you are probably aware that the European Commission has decided to launch an extended investigation into Oracle’s acquisition of Sun based on concerns over MySQL.
The new has prompted a lot of criticism of the EC, much of it suggesting that the delay will do considerable harm to Sun (and therefore Oracle). This argument is valid - Sun’s already declining revenue has been in freefall since the deal was announced and one wonders how far it will fall in another 90 days of stasis.
Other criticism, (such as this from Matt Asay) focuses on the suggestion that the delay will do little to help MySQL or its users, and that the EC fails to understand open[Read more...]
As well as contributing to the CAOS research practice here at The 451 Group I am also part of the information management team, with a focus on databases, data caching, CEP, and - from the start of this year - data warehousing.
I’ve covered data warehousing before but taking a fresh look at this space in recent months it’s been fascinating to see the variety of technologies and strategies that vendors are applying to the data warehousing problem. It’s also been interesting to compare the role that open source has played in the data warehousing market, compared to the database market.
I’m preparing a major report on the data warehousing sector, for publication in the next couple of months. What follows is a rough outline of the role open source has played in the sector. Any comments[Read more...]
Departmental or subject-specific data warehouses – known as “data marts” in the industry – seem to be gaining in popularity. Fueled partly by companies wanting to start small with focused projects in today’s economy, and partly by advances in data warehousing technology improving affordability and deployability, data marts seem to be popping-up everywhere.
In most cases, data mart projects are driven by the head of a business unit or a functional group (like Sales) needing to analyze their own slice of data in order to run their department more efficiently and effectively. The data may come directly from an operational system or a combination of source systems resulting in what’s called an “independent data mart”, or it may come directly from a larger, enterprise data warehouse in a hub-and-spoke or “dependent data mart” configuration.[Read more...]
This is the first post in a new series of “Kickfire Basics” blog posts by myself and others here at Kickfire. This series will review the basics of the Kickfire appliance starting from this post describing how data is stored on disk, to future posts on topics such as loading data into the appliance and writing queries which best leverage the capabilities of the SQL chip.
The Kickfire Equation
Column store + Compression + SQL Chip = performance
The Kickfire Analytic Appliance features the new KFDB storage engine which was built from scratch to handle queries over vast amounts of data. KFDB is a column store in contrast to most MySQL storage engines which are row stores. What follows is a description of our column oriented storage engine and how it improves performance over typical row stores.
This post concerns itself with the first part[Read more...]
Join the Sun and Kickfire team tomorrow to see the unveiling of the Kickfire’s On-Demand Trial. You can sign up for the live webinar and trial review here: http://tinyurl.com/kickfiretrial.
At Kickfire we’re very excited about this launch. We’ve had many customers who have asked for a quick way to trial the system to get a sense of the performance. In order to speed up setup time we are providing users with access to US Bureau of Transportation’s database. This database contains flight data from the last twenty years. The trial consists of four parts:
1) An overview of Kickfire and its technology (includes a short Flash movie)
2) An interactive tutorial of a couple of sample queries. The tutorial explains the DB schema, the SQL and the Kickfire features that get performance
3) A pick list of sample queries and
We’re sponsoring an important webinar series along with Sun/MySQL starting this week on June 25th – The Kimball Group Data Warehousing Educational Webinar Series. This webinar series will introduce the audience to data warehousing concepts and best practices, and will cover the history and evolution of data warehousing, provide an overview of dimensional modeling, and review the full life cycle of designing and implementing a data warehouse. Part 1, on June 25th at 1:00P PDT, is on Data Warehousing Fundamentals.
There are two key reasons why we think this webinar series is important:
Why was Teradata able to become the leader of data warehousing at the super high-end (e.g. greater than 25 TB’s)? Why was Netezza only the second pure-play data warehousing company to go public by focusing on the 10 – 25 TB range of opportunities? Why did Oracle after so many years of denial finally announce a joint hardware / software product for data warehousing with HP, the Exadata data warehouse server? Why did Microsoft acquire DATAllegro, one of the earlier data warehousing appliances? Why are there now dozens of data warehouse appliances available on the market today, and – more importantly – how should a customer choose which one to purchase?
In all these cases, the vendors have listened to the market and concluded that the most optimal way to serve the customer is through a true data warehouse appliance. Given that there are so many flavors of appliances, though,[Read more...]
That assumes that Oracle will allow the development of MySQL to stagnate, either deliberately or through neglect - something that we have expressed our doubts about, but even if that were the case it appears that the GPL (or more to the point MySQL’s dual licensing strategy) may restrict the potential for MariaDB.
Curt Monash recently raised the question of whether closed-source storage engines can be used with MySQL (and, by[Read more...]
So, is Oracle’s acquisition of Sun good for MySQL or not so much? And, specifically what does it mean for data warehousing on MySQL, which is one of the top 5 use cases for the leading open source database? While there are mixed views in the market about the fate of MySQL, it’s usually pretty easy to predict Oracle’s behavior - they are a for-profit company looking to maximize their return on investment and protect their own commercial database business.
For what they’re worth, my own views on the subject can be summarized as follows:
Oracle buys Sun. Sun previews MySQL update, makes GlassFish Portfolio, OpenSSO and OpenDS available on EC2. Numerous partner announcements from the MySQL conference. Red Hat maps open source adoption. And more.
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Oracle to acquire Sun
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or like me you decided to take a few inappropriately-timed days off) you probably noticed that Oracle announced an agreement to acquire Sun this week. Jay delivered our assessment on Oracle’s open source credentials, while I followed up with some
“We’re both in the transportation business. We have a 747, and they have a Toyota.”
The comparison of Oracle’s database and MySQL, made by Oracle president Charles Phillips at the 2004 Vortex Conference was undoubtedly meant as a criticism, but it so graphically demonstrated the differing business strategies and selling-points of the two products that MySQL executives began citing it themselves.
It is also a comparison that explains how the two products could potentially co-exist within a single company, as they seem likely to do following the announcement that Sun has agreed to be acquired by Oracle.
Much of the MySQL-related coverage of the impending[Read more...]
The Kickfire appliance is designed for business intelligence and analytical workloads, as opposed to OLTP (online transaction processing) environments. Most of the focus in the MySQL area right now revolves around increasing performance for OLTP type workloads, which makes sense as this is the traditional workload that MySQL has been used for. In contrast, Kickfire focuses squarely on analytic environments, delivering high performance execution of analytical and reporting queries .
A MySQL server with fast processors, fast disks (or ssd) and lot of memory will answer many OLTP queries easily. Kickfire will outperform such a server for typical analytical queries such as aggregation over a large number of rows.
A typical OLTP query might ask “What is the shipping address for this invoice?”. Contrast this with a typical analytical query, which asks “How much of this item did[Read more...]
The Kickfire MySQL Appliance is offically launched!
Look for more news next week from Kickfire as we head into the MySQL conference. Kickfire will also give a keynote on the first day of the conference and will make a surprise announcement! Stay tuned …
The MySQL marketplace today is far more complex then simply choosing between a particular version of MySQL that Sun/MySQL (http://mysql.com) produces.
The MySQL server product in general is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) v2, however you should carefully review the MySQL Legal Policies (http://www.mysql.com/about/legal/) as a number of exceptions and different license agreements operate for companion tools such as MySQL Cluster, MySQL client libraries and documentation for example.
Looking into the MySQL ecosystem for products, I’ve produced the following categories:
We just shipped and installed the Kickfire appliance in the data center of our first web 2.0 customer this week. We’re very excited about this new customer. With already over a million active members, this company continues to grow in spite of a challenging economic environment because it has a clearly defined audience and a business model which adds value to its members while adding money to its coffers. Part of the value add to their member base comes from well-targeted discount and coupon offers. In order to achieve this, the company runs complex analytics to understand members’ behaviors and responses and uses this data to help its advertising customers better target their offers.
As with many web 2.0 companies, this customer has built its application on MySQL. MySQL has helped them scale their web application well but was presenting performance and scalability challenges for their[Read more...]
The demand for high-tech appliances has been on the rise in the last few years. Their benefits — including high performance, low TCO, rapid time-to-value, and ease of use — have driven adoption in a variety of industries from data warehousing to network and security management, storage, retail, telephony and so on. As the analyst firm, Forrester, noted in a 2008 report:
“Appliances - in all their proliferation - are here to stay and are moving into the mainstream of computing and networking”
It turns out that the database of preference for a growing number of appliance vendors is MySQL. As noted on its appliance page (http://www.mysql.com/why-mysql/isv-oem-corner/appliance/" target="_blank), MySQL’s benefits of low TCO, ease of use, and rapid time-to-value map well to the requirements of appliance offerings.
As appliance markets[Read more...]
Sun Microsystems slashes jobs in major restructuring. SpringSource gets Groovy with G2One. Novell goes after Red Hat. Sonatype confirms Marc Visser as new CEO. Neil Young’s new car. And more.
Sun Microsystems Aligns Business with Global Economic Climate and Amplifies Growth Opportunities Across Open Source Platforms Sun Microsystems
SpringSource Acquires G2One Inc SpringSource[Read more...]
It’s been a crazy month here at Kickfire which is why I have fallen a bit behind on my postings – a new product, new customers, a new CEO, a new relationship with Sun/MySQL, a new website … and a new baby girl! Here’s a quick summary of all that has been going on:
We quietly came out of beta a month ago. After nearly two and half years in development, this is a great achievement for the company. The team took on a hugely ambitious project: to re-design how SQL is processed today to be able to deliver an order of magnitude improvement in price/performance relative to any other data warehousing solution on the market. This project involved bringing together over 50 of the industry’s smartest database and hardware engineers to build a new type of database machine that includes the world’s first SQL chip, an ultra-modern database kernel,
Kickfire was recently selected by Network World as one of 10 Open Source Companies to Watch. First of all, the disclaimer: we are not an open source company. As any of you reading this blog know, Kickfire is an appliance company. So, why then did we appear on the list? The link of course is MySQL.
The Kickfire appliance was built to run MySQL for high-performance business intelligence and data warehousing workloads. So, while we are not an open source company, we are very much what I would term as an “open source-based business”. Now, for those who track the data warehousing market, it might seem that a lot of vendors could claim that mantle as a large proportion have code that is derived from PostgreSQL. However, that’s not what I mean by an open[Read more...]
In April this year, Kickfire announced the first high-performance appliance for MySQL. As part of the announcement, the company released data warehouse benchmark results that broke prior records in terms of price/performance and performance in a non-clustered environment. While the creation of a new appliance built exclusively for MySQL along with the benchmark records was noteworthy, perhaps the bigger story lies in what we believe to be the beginning of a paradigm shift in the database world - one marked by the advent of the first SQL chip.
To give some context to this story I have included a graph below which depicts the evolution of VLSI (Very-Large-Scale Integration) semiconductor technology and its growing impact on a broadening range of industries.[Read more...]
As Matt Asay recently mentioned in his post about Kickfire, the company just closed a Series B for $20 million. In today’s credit-scarce market where VC funding is flat/declining, $20 million is a lot of money, especially for a company whose product is still in beta. What’s more, there seems to be an investment bubble in the broader data warehousing space in which Kickfire participates (at last count, there were over two dozen vendors, the majority of which are relatively new entrants) and that bubble looks like it is starting to burst as witnessed by Microsoft’s recent acquisition of DATAllegro. So, are the Kickfire investors[Read more...]
Following on from the announcement at the MySQL conference where Sun and Kickfire jointly announced data warehousing benchmark records, we have just announced new TPC-H benchmark records. Specifically, the Kickfire Database Appliance 2400 is the highest price/performance offering at 300GB, again breaking the $1 barrier for the first time coming in at 89 cents per QphH (Queries per hour on the TPC-H benchmark). The 2400 is also the highest performance (non-clustered) offering at 300GB.
I’m not going to further dwell on the numbers in this post other than to quickly point out another aspect of this achievement that Justin noted in his blog related to the energy savings the[Read more...]
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