Kognitio Cloud Delivers Affordable Analytics Platform on Amazon EC2

By Jeff Cogswell  |  Posted 2013-01-01 Print this article Print

That's what Kognitio has with its analytics platform. The company created a server on Amazon, installed the software, got it running, tuned it and then took a snapshot of it. So when you install the image, you get an exact copy of that system they built. But the cool thing is that when you install the image, you still get to choose how big a server you want in terms of RAM and other physical features. You're not stuck with the same configuration the image was built with.

The idea then is that as you need additional horsepower, you can simply allocate more servers on Amazon EC2 without the usual capital expenditure of purchasing the hardware yourself. When you're done with them, you shut them down and even delete them.

Because of the hourly pricing strategy, you can allocate a huge amount of servers for a small amount of money. Some medium-sized servers run for about a dollar per hour. Some of the more expensive ones are almost $4 an hour. So if you run, say, three of the higher-powered servers, you're talking $12 per hour. Over a year, that can be costly, but if you only need them for a day or two, it won’t bust your budget.

For my tests, I allocated a server on Amazon EC2 with—no kidding—32GB of RAM. The processor in this case is a quad-core. Kognitio offers a couple of different images, one pre-populated with demo data, and one empty; I chose the pre-populated one so that I wouldn't have to generate my own data.

After creating the image, I simply started it up. There was no further work needed on that end. The next step was to install the Windows-based client tools on my own computer. The client computer is where I do my queries. The queries are sent via open database connectivity (ODBC) to the server; the server then does the actual heavy-duty processing.

I mentioned that Kognitio operates in-memory. But it saves the data, of course, so that when you shut down the system, your data will still be there when you reboot. Then it quickly reads the data back into memory. Kognitio can read in 650 million rows of data per second per server.

The client tools included the necessary ODBC driver for Windows to connect to the Kognitio server that's running on Amazon EC2. It also includes a console program and command-line tools. There are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the tools.

The console is a full-featured administration tool for managing the database, including an SQL panel for running manual SQL queries and tools for managing users and security. Since the data on the server is in-memory, there are also tools for managing the RAM usage and even for printing reports. There's also a full scripting language for writing scripts that execute SQL statements. The scripting language includes variables, loops, if statements and statements for including other script files.

The console proved very easy to use as it works much like similar tools (for example, Microsoft's SQL Management Studio or the popular Toad for Oracle). I was able to easily execute queries, the results of which came back nearly instantly.

Note that Kognitio says they're going to have another demo version ready on Amazon that can spin up 24 nodes and handle 1.5 terabytes of data.

Kognitio might not be the biggest player in the field next to such giants as Oracle, but rest assured, as word spreads about the company, it's going to become one of the biggest players. Finally, somebody is doing it right.


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