Percona Live MySQL User's Conference, San Francisco, April 10-12th, 2012 Book: "Pentaho Kettle Solutions", Matt Casters, Roland Bouman, & Jos van Dongen, Wiley 2010 Book: "Pentaho Solutions", Roland Bouman & Jos van Dongen, Wiley 2009
Showing posts with label Infobright. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Infobright. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Calpont opens up: InfiniDB Open Source Analytical Database (based on MySQL)

Open source business intelligence and data warehousing are on the rise!

If you kept up with the MySQL Performance Blog, you might have noticed a number of posts comparing the open source analytical databases Infobright, LucidDB, and MonetDB. LucidDB got some more news last week when Nick Goodman announced that the Dynamo Business Intelligence Corporation will be offering services around LucidDB, branding it as DynamoDB.

Now, to top if off, Calpont has just released InfiniDB, a GPLv2 open source version of its analytical database offering, which is based on the MySQL server.

So, let's take a quick look at InfiniDB. I haven't yet played around with it, but the features sure look interesting:

  • Column-oriented architecture (like all other analytical database products mentioned)

  • Transparent compression

  • Vertical and horizontal partitioning: on top of being column-oriented, data is also partitioned, potentially allowing for less IO to access data.

  • MVCC and support for high concurrency. It would be interesting to see how much benefit this gives when loading data, because this is usually one of the bottle necks for column-oriented databases

  • Support for ACID/Transactions

  • High performance bulkloader

  • No specialized hardware - InfiniDB is a pure software solution that can run on commidity hardware

  • MySQL compatible

The website sums up a few more features and benefits, but I think this covers the most important ones.

Calpont also offers a closed source enterprise edition, which differs from the open source by offering support for multi-node scale-out support. By that, they do not mean regular MySQL replication scale-out. Instead, the enterprise edition features a true distributed database architecture which allows you to divide incoming requests across a layer of so-called "user modules" (MySQL front ends) and "performance modules" (the actual workhorses that partition, retrieve and cache data). In this scenario, the user modules break the queries they recieve from client applications into pieces, and send them to one or more performance modules in a parallel fashion. The performance modules then retrieve the actual data from either their cache, or from the disk, and sends those back to the user modules which re-assemble the partial and intermediate results to the final resultset which is sent back to the client. (see picture)
Given the MySQL compatibility and otherwise similar features, I think it is fair to compare the open source InfiniDB offering to the Infobright community edition. Interesting differences are that InfiniDB supports all usual DML statements (INSERT, DELETE, UPDATE), and that InfiniDB offers the same bulkloader in both the community edition as well as the enterprise edition: Infobright community edition does not support DML, and offers a bulk loader that is less performant than the one included in its enterprise edition. I have not heard of an InfoBright multi-node option, so when comparing the enterprise edition featuresets, that seems like an advantage too in Calpont's offering.

Please understand that I am not endorsing one of these products over the other: I'm just doing a checkbox feature list comparison here. What it mostly boils down to, is that users that need an affordable analytical database now have even more choice than before. In addition, it adds a bit more competition for the vendors, and I expect them all to improve as a result of that. These are interesting times for the BI and data warehousing market :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

EU Should Protect MySQL-based Special Purpose Database Vendors

In my recent post on the EU antitrust regulators' probe into the Oracle Sun merger I did not mention an important class of stakeholders: the MySQL-based special purpose database startups. By these I mean:

I think it's safe to say the first three are comparable in the sense that they are all analytical databases: they are designed for data warehousing and business intelligence applications. ScaleDB might be a good fit for those applications, but I think it's architecture is sufficiently different from the first three to not call it an analytical database.

For Kickfire and Infobright, the selling point is that they are offering a relatively cheap solution to build large data warehouses and responsive business intelligence applications. (I can't really find enough information on Calpoint pricing, although they do mention low total cost of ownership.) An extra selling point is that they are MySQL compatible, which may make some difference for some customers. But that compatibility is in my opinion not as important as the availability of a serious data warehousing solution at a really sharp price.

Now, in my previous post, I mentioned that the MySQL and Oracle RDBMS products are very different, and I do not perceive them as competing. Instead of trying to kill the plain MySQL database server product, Oracle should take advantage of a huge opportunity to help shape the web by being a good steward, leading ongoing MySQL development, and in addition, enable their current Oracle Enterprise customers to build cheap LAMP-based websites (with the possibility of adding value by offering Oracle to MySQL data integration).

For these analytical database solutions, things may be different though.

I think these MySQL based analytical databases really are competitive to Oracle's Exadata analytical appliance. Oracle could form a serious threat to these MySQL-based analytical database vendors. After the merger, Oracle would certainly be in a position to hamper these vendors by resticting the non-GPL licensed usage of MySQL.
In a recent ad, Oracle vouched to increase investments in developing Sun's hardware and operating system technology. And this would eventually put them in an even better position to create appliances like Exadata, allowing them to ditch an external hardware partner like HP (which is their Exadata hardware partner).

So, all in all, in my opinion the EU should definitely take a serious look at the dynamics of the analytical database market and decide how much impact the Oracle / Sun merger could have on this particular class of MySQL OEM customers. The rise of these relatvely cheap MySQL-based analytical databases is a very interesting development for the business intelligence and data warehousing space in general, and means a big win for customers that need affordable datawarhousing / business intelligence. It would be a shame if it would be curtailed by Oracle. After the merger, Oracle sure would have the means and the motive, so if someone needs protection, I think it would be these MySQL-based vendors of analytical databases.

As always, these are just my musing and opinions - speculation is free. Feel free to correct me, add applause or point out my ignorance :)