The Boulder BI Brain Trust


April 2008 Archives

IBM hosted a great dinner last night for Boulder BI Brain Trust members at Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder. It was a great way to kick off the meeting and carried over to a full house here this morning. Arrive early or you have to stand in the corner. 15 people attending today a great turnout from IBM and the Brain Trust.

The first theme is that IBM has been strategic in their M&A process. I think this is important to point out because I saw a lot of comments out there prior to the Cognos acquisition that IBM wasn't doing solid deals or enough deals. I think the following image does a good job of illustrating how well they have done.

iod.jpgSkip ahead 90 minutes.....

So the image and paragraph above I wrote over an hour ago since then I've been listening as Bill O’Connell, Ph.D. and Distinguished Engineer & Data Warehousing CTO for IBM Information Management Software walk us through a good portion of the IBM Data Warehouse Stack. I have to admit my mind has melted a bit but in a good way. I have always been a champion of the little guy especially those who deliver innovative solutions and generally I don't see a lot of innovation when talking to companies that are dragging around a ton of legacy solutions wrapped into a monster stack. Bill has done a great job of showing exactly how IBM isn't a lumbering giant.

The acquisitions listed above along with innovations from IBM labs have provided just about everything you might need for your organization. The blend of features, solutions and platforms are designed to fit just about every business challenge. Also they have the ability to serve smaller companies so don't think your too small to have IBM help you. I think the underlying theme for me is every time Bill talks about a new section of the solution stack he is able to highlight recent innovations, upgrades and increased integration of features.

I enjoy these deep dives it allows a level of detail that I can't get during a 30 minute update style briefing.

BI Brain Trust members in attendance today: Claudia Imhoff, Colin White, John Myers, Bonnie O'Neil, Lu Kroeger, Dan Linstedt, Richard Hackathorn, Myself, Ron Powell, James Donnellan, Kym Wootton.

Tags: Business Intelligence, IBM, InfoSphere Warehouse, Cognos

I too attended Vertica, and I must say: this appears to be the FIRST column based database vendor to _get it right_.

For those of you who don't know me: I'll tell you this, ask my friends - I will tear up the marketing material and look for all the pieces to be in good working order, and technically sound/stable before I give my word on something.  It's just who I am.

Vertica has got me excited, the first database engine to actually get me excited since the 1980's... ok... the early 90's...  Anyhow, it was a pleasure to see that Vertica has thought about the loading performance, right along side the query performance, right along side the ability to query DEEP OR WIDE at the same time.  Through some proprietary technology, and internals that I cannot discuss - they've managed to overcome many of the achillies heels that have struck the other VLDB/MPP solutions in the past.  Like Shawn, I too was _very_ impressed that they already had 50 customers (big names) when they came to present.

I hope to see more on Vertica as they grow.

Andy Palmer Co-Founder and Omer Trajman Field Engineer are here this morning. I've been waiting a long time for this one. Vertica has gotten lots of mainstream press from the weekly tech publications to the Wall Street Journal. They have taken their time coming to market but get tons of attention because Michael Stonebraker is a Co-Founder along with Andy.

They have put a very strong executive team together past Oracle, Ingres, DB2, Informix and Teradata executives. Vertica is an Analytic Database, has shared nothing column architecture, can be deployed in an appliance configuration, software only or in a cloud. My first surprise, today they have 50 paying clients that include Verizon, Tick-Store, JPMorgan, Comcast and Vonage. I'd love to give you performance details but so far I can't mention any due to NDA restrictions. They have been so quite with their marketing I wasn't aware they had such good traction.

Surprise number two is they are positioning themselves as a cost leader in the space and believe they are much less expensive than other companies offering solutions in the space. One of the other areas they are bringing value is time to implement where they feel they are much faster to production than others. Much of the technology behind the system was built from scratch and brings together features that have been in the market for a long time. Column Store Architecture, Compression, Query Optimized storage, high Availability, Concurrent load and query, simple DB design, scalable hardware. The value point here is that unlike others who add these features along the way the Vertica system was designed from the ground up to incorporate all of them.

Surprise number three, performance is not what they hang their hat on they focus more on solving the specific issues presented by the customer. Surprise number four, they have extremely cool technology built in at the record level that does make them different than other columnar database vendors.

This was a fun BBBT, Claudia Imhoff, Richard Hackathorn, Dan Linstedt, John Myers, Kym Wootton and Lu Kroeger were all in attendance. Thanks Andy and Omer.



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