Greenplum Offers New Database Software for Free

Greenplum is offering a free version of its massively parallel processing (MPP) database to target what it considers a new class of data analysts.

Greenplum Software has released a free version of its database software to appeal to data analysts.

The new version shares much of the same capabilities as Greenplum Database 3.3, except it can only be run on a single node.

"This product is for the new class of power user data analysts who are pushing the envelope with new techniques and huge volumes of raw data," said Richard Snee, vice president of marketing at Greenplum. "These individuals are emerging as the difference-makers inside the modern data warehousing environments."

Dubbed the Single-Node Edition, the free software gives the analysts access to the database for large-scale analytical projects outside the enterprise data warehouse (EDW). The software can participate as a distributed node of Greenplum's Enterprise Data Cloud, enabling centralized management, data discovery and data sharing across databases. In addition, the database features hybrid row and column-oriented processing as well as fully parallel SQL and MapReduce processing.

According to Greenplum, there is also unlimited production usage on a single commodity x86 server using up to 2 CPU sockets or in a single virtual machine using up to eight virtual cores.

As part of its pitch, Greenplum cited a recent survey of more than 400 data warehousing professionals by Greenplum and B-Eye-Network that found companies are now conducting the majority of analytical projects outside the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). Over half of respondents said that the data their team needs lies outside the data warehouse, and more than 75 percent are using tools such as SAS, Excel and MySQL to work with their data. The majority also said that they prefer to work with "raw" rather than "clean" data.

"In most cases the tools available to these [data analysts], at their desks, are sub-optimal," Snee said. "We want to arm these individuals with Greenplum's enterprise-class analytic database. Making it available for free accelerates the adoption of a distributed system model for data warehousing, such as Greenplum's Enterprise Data Cloud."