The database-as-a-service trend continues as Vertica Systems brings its columnar database to the cloud.
Vertica Systems is taking its columnar database into the cloud, joining a
number of other vendors that have made similar moves. But the market for on-demand
database services remains nascent, industry observers said.
Vertica Analytic Database Cloud Edition is on-demand version of the
company's grid-enabled columnar database, hosted on Amazon.com's EC2 (Elastic
The idea is to create large, high-performance analytic data marts without
upfront data center costs. The service will also help larger enterprises
quickly set up data warehouses, Vertica Systems CEO
Ralph Breslauer said.
"We believe there is a very large market for cloud-based data
warehousing and analytics," the CEO
said in an interview with eWEEK. "Many companies-especially younger ones
in fields like biotech, hedge funds, and analytic software as a service-have
terabytes of data they would like to analyze. And Vertica for the Cloud enables
them do that by greatly minimizing the cost and expertise required to create a
scalable, high-performance data warehouse database."
Almost all current cloud databases are row-stores designed to handle OLTP (online
transaction processing) workloads, Breslauer explained. Vertica's cloud edition,
however, is designed specifically for query-intensive analytic workloads. The
combination of column-oriented storage and aggressive data compression
dramatically reduces disk I/O, Breslauer said, and along with Vertica's grid
architecture speeds up processing.
The company joins a number of other database vendors in the cloud, including
EnterpriseDB, Microsoft, Amazon.com with its SimpleDB offering and Google with
But despite the growing number of vendors looking to take their databases
into the cloud, concerns over issues such as security and cost mean that
widespread enterprise adoption
of such services is years away,
said Gartner analyst Donald
Vertica's service, however, makes sense for third-party software developers
who want to put a DBMS in place for either proof-of-concept projects or
short-term projects without having to buy and manage hardware and software,
Jasmine Noel, an analyst with Ptak, Noel & Associates, said only five
years ago she would not have believed businesses would upload their corporate
data to external service providers. But attitudes are changing, she said, as
companies get comfortable with the idea of storing information in the cloud
through the example of Salesforce.com.
"I can see some SMB [small and midsize business]
and enterprise LOB managers using those types of services as [temporary] data marts
for short-term analytical projects to get answers to a specific
questions," Noel said. "How fast that service will pick up will
depend on ease of use-the less data management and schema expertise needed to
get value, the faster the market will grow."