Crunching data on the cheap

Data warehousing vendors are offering free, open-source versions that actually pack some heat

Data-warehousing software systems are expensive, but many enterprises have nonetheless been willing to dig deep, betting that analytics will provide new insights into their business and a competitive advantage.

In a report released earlier this year, research firm IDC predicted the data-warehousing platform market will grow from roughly US$7.9 billion in 2009 to about $10.8 billion in 2013.

The good news for IT shops that want to get started in analytics, but don't have the budget right now, is the recent emergence of free software options that pack fairly serious data-crunching firepower.

In October, Greenplum announced a Single Node Edition of its MPP (massively parallel processing) database. MPP architectures split up data workloads into multiple pieces that are managed independently on an array of servers.

The Single Node version can be used in production mode on one x86 server with up to two CPU sockets and unlimited cores. It can also be deployed in a single virtual machine with up to eight virtual cores. There is no storage cap. Single Node Edition can also be tied back into a broader Greenplum implementation.

Also in October, Calpont released InfiniDB Community Edition, an open-source, column-oriented database. The columnar method can in many cases greatly reduce disk I/O demand compared to systems that store data in rows, and also achieve higher levels of compression, said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research.

InfiniDB Community Edition is also limited to a single server, but has no cap on CPU count, the number of cores, memory, data volume or concurrent users.

Calpont also has a commercial edition of InfiniDB, now in early adopter stage, that allows users to scale out the system to multiple servers.

InfiniDB Community Edition follows the release last year of another open-source columnar data-warehousing platform from Infobright. The latter may have an edge for now over InfiniDB in terms of community support; Infobright recently said the software has been downloaded more than 15,000 times.

Ultimately, though, these free data-warehousing options have their limits and likely usage scenarios, according to Monash.

"If you have a single analyst or small team of analysts doing early exploratory querying against some terabytes of data or less, then these products are likely to do the job," he said.

Companies may also not have the budget to procure anything else, or can't get funding without conducting an initial proof of concept, Monash added.

"There certainly are workloads for which they are insufficient, and you'll have to pay money for a product that will do the job for you," he said. "But if you want to get more value out of your data, these free products could be a great place to start."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags databasesbusiness intelligenceanalyticsdata warehousing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?