John Sequeira


Thursday, September 13, 2007
Lies, Damn Lies, and Benchmarks

From Curt Monash:

"2. Vertica’s software is 50X faster than anything non-columnar and 10X faster than anything columnar. Now, some of these stats surely come from the syndrome of comparing the future release of your product, as tuned by world’s greatest experts on it who also hope to get rich on their stock options in your company, vs. some well-established production release of your competitors’ products, tuned to an unknown level of excellence,* with the whole thing running test queries that you, in your impartial wisdom, deem representative of user needs. Or something like that …

lol. Well said, Curt.
11:16:47 AM      comment []  trackback []

Elastra -- To Infinite Database and Beyond

EC2-ISV Elastra decloaked recently. The website is so-so, but here's a quote blog comment from an employee:

Though a $360/month list price may seem comparable to a hosted solution, you are getting a lot more. Besides not having to buy hardware, software, bandwidth, or storage (we give 1 Terabyte of S3 storage free), you get the ability to really run your solution on demand.

Imagine allocating hardware to set up a 10 node cluster, setting up databases on it, having users or analytical programs hook up to it for a month of heavy traffic or heavy reporting. Imagine having to expand those clusters to 20 nodes or contract them to 3 because you are doing so well, or you no longer need the processing power. Now, think about being able to do these things at a minute's notice.

Imagine having 3 versions of your complete Data Warehouse for testing, running all three at the same time for, say, three days, picking out the best design, tools, analytical engines and taking the other two down by clicking an icon while archiving the other two in case you want to try them later.

The point with ELASTRA is not just that it's the first solution that actually uses S3 as a disk drive and not a tape drive, but that is also helps the application vendor create, scale, manage, and deploy their solution as their enterprise (hopefully) grows.

I know hosting people will scream that they can also add servers easily, but for the screamers: your competition is Amazon, not ELASTRA. We don't have anything against you if you can offer our platform the same capabilities and the same prices as Amazon can and so effectively does.

Sounds pretty cool if you want to run your analytics db apps on EC2. I haven't personally experienced the situation where there were enough BI users to warrant this. Usually BI apps target a handful of decision-makers, and versioning isn't so important with star schemas that capture historical information. Additionally, I don't think it's a stretch to say that BI implementations using open source db's will probably be located on the budget-constrained part of the spectrum, and have even less overlap with customers needing high-end availability requirements. Hmmm. It will be interesting to see if they find a market.

This reminds me a bit of another startup I'd been meaning to mention: SaaS lab management provider Replicate Technologies founded by long-time blog-reader Ken Novak. Ken walked me through some of the scenarios that his team had been enabling, and they sound somewhat familiar to the elastra scenarios, except with a lab management focus on whole system- and network topology- versioning as opposed to database versioning and clustering. With replicate's technology, you of course create and version all the VMs and groups of VMs you like, but you also can simulate and capture network topologies that would otherwise be a big pain e.g. lossy WAN links if you want to test an Exchange remote failover scenario, or a huge number of low bandwidth connections for testing a sensor-web data collection application ( two actual use cases ).

Replicate is not deployed on EC2 like elastra and 3terra etc - they've rolled their own virtualization platform. But if Amazon's plans to own the grid enabler space (continue to?) pan out I'm sure EC2 deployment will be in the cards.
8:03:26 AM      comment []  trackback []

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