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Colin Clark

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Analytical Platforms, Databases, & CEP

This from the book, “Hadoop – the Definitive Guide,”

“This, in a nutshell, is what Hadoop provides: a reliable shared storage and analysis system.”

BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS ABOUT BIG DATA?

It is, but Hadoop is not designed, at least today, for anything other than write once (and now maybe append), and then analyze many times over and over again.  Databases are traditionally better suited for applications that need to both read, write, and update data.  That is until databases like columnar arrived on the scene.  Thank you Michael Stonebraker, et. al.

STONEBRAKER, AGAIN?

Yup, a couple of years ago, Mr. Stonebraker said that Map/Reduce was  a major step backwards.  That’s when he was actively involved with Vertica.  Just recently, he said that data warehouses are too big for in-memory approaches.  It would appear that his opinions have evolved along with technology.  Hmm.  Can you have it both ways?  I think not. So?

AGAIN, WHAT’S YOUR POINT?

My point is that analytical platforms are different than databases, and different than data warehouses.  And if we look at databases today, we can make a broad distinction – those databases with in-db map/reduce and those without.  Aster Data, Greenplum, and Sybase (planned) on the commercial side fit that bill as do Riak and MongoDB on the free-for-now front.  Analytical platforms need to analyze big data, the faster the better, with deep & complex analytical capabilities, and that lends itself to an in-db map/reduce ‘brother can you par a dime’ (paradigm).

THIS JUST IN FROM THE PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMER (what we call, “The Market”)

Everyone that I’ve been speaking with in the analytical platform market doesn’t just want to store their data and analyze it later, they want to analyze it *now* and store it and analyze it later.  And then again.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.  But unless you’re a vendor like Sybase who has CEP, or Oracle who has CEP, or Vertica who has Streambase, how are you going to offer your customer those capabilities?  (and yes, I’ve mixed traditional database offerings just now with event processing add-ons in a mixed metaphor worthy of Bush himself)

CEP JUST ISN’T THAT MOTIVATING ANYMORE

During all the hubbub during SAP’s acquisition of Sybase, there was nary a mention of CEP.  No, our darling CEP platforms had taken a backseat to the mobile love child that had been in the making for years.

BUT IT’S STILL A TIC MARK

Which means that if you’ve got a database, especially an analytical database, then you’re going to want to combine the loading ability with some type of event processing functionality.  This is just common sense. Or your customer might go buy from someone else.

THE DRUMROLL PLEASE

Seems like a lot of software companies are buying hardware companies.  And hardware companies are buying software companies.  Like HP, GreenPlum, EMC, 3PAR, etc.  There aren’t too many analytical platforms out there.  There are less columnar guys.  But there’s only one pure play CEP vendor left, and that’s StreamBase.  So the question isn’t who’s going to buy which analytical platform or columnar datastore, it’s who’s going to by StreamBase.  And my bet is HP.

AND AS ALWAYS

Thanks for reading.

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More Stories By Colin Clark

Colin Clark is the CTO for Cloud Event Processing, Inc. and is widely regarded as a thought leader and pioneer in both Complex Event Processing and its application within Capital Markets.

Follow Colin on Twitter at http:\\twitter.com\EventCloudPro to learn more about cloud based event processing using map/reduce, complex event processing, and event driven pattern matching agents. You can also send topic suggestions or questions to colin@cloudeventprocessing.com