MariaDB targets big data analytics market with ColumnStore

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The relational database company's upcoming MariaDB ColumnStore is a columnar storage engine for massively parallel distributed query execution and data loading, supporting use cases ranging from real-time to batch to algorithmic.

MariaDB on Tuesday moved to unite transactional and analytical processing in a single relational database with the announcement of the upcoming release of MariaDB ColumnStore.

"We're uniting transactional and big data analytics all together under one roof," says Michael Howard, CEO of MariaDB. "It's the same MariaDB interface, security, SQL richness simplifying management. You don't need to buy specialized hardware. It's one unified platform."

Howard says that MariaDB ColumnStore is able to bring together transactional and massively parallelized analytical workloads because its extensible architecture allows simultaneous use of purpose-built storage engines for maximum performance, simplification and cost savings. It's a columnar storage engine for massively parallel distributed query execution and data loading, supporting use cases ranging from real-time to batch to algorithmic. It's capable of performing complex aggregation, joins and windowing functions at the data storage level to increase performance.

"I've seen first-hand how traditional columnar appliances arose as reactions to the cost and complexity of Oracle," Howard says. "But these reactions have only increased complexity and cost further, and most importantly, overlooked critical features. In contrast, MariaDB ColumnStore is ACID compliant, blazingly fast, massively parallelized and uses a distributed storage engine."

And that's key, says MariaDB interim CMO Lilia Shirman, filling that role while on leave from her role as CEO of Silicon Valley strategy consultancy The Shirman Group. Customers such as communication network services vendors are gathering massive volumes of data about usage in transactional databases, and that data needs to be processed in near real-time to provide them with insight into usage patterns and customer patterns that help sales staff upsell or expand relationships with customers.

"Columnar database technology is central to our ability to give customers the insights they need to grow their revenue and protect them from fraud," Will Powers, director, Systems Infrastructure and Data Services at MariaDB customer Bandwidth, said in a statement Tuesday. "We are extremely happy to see MariaDB take it up, as there are truly no alternatives that can match the combination of low operating cost and exceptional performance at scale."

And Shirman notes that a new wrinkle is coming in what she calls 'the algorithmic economy' as companies in the very near future get serious about automating intelligent interactions between the company and customers and machines in the Internet of Things (IoT).

"The next wave is coming," she says. "The CIOs who are looking ahead of that are going to be ahead of the game if they start to bring together the analytical and transactional right now."

MariaDB says MariaDB ColumnStore will be available to beta test in May of this year.

MariaDB also announced the addition of new data streaming capability to MariaDB MaxScale intended to simplify real-time data propagation to external data lakes or data warehouses. This will allow the replication of transactions in MariaDB in real-time to Hadoop or any other data store. As a result, MaxScale and MariaDB can be configured to handle replication in mission-critical applications without affecting performance while including all necessary metadata with no per-value overhead.

"Big data analytics is a priority for businesses that need to scale their analytics capabilities and extract greater value from growing data volumes," MariaDB CTO Michael "Monty" Widenius said in a statement today. "MariaDB ColumnStore and MariaDB MaxScale with data streaming provide a holistic approach to increasingly demanding analytical processing tasks. Our approach is aimed at any company who does not want to pay big for big data. For the MariaDB/MySQL community, MariaDB ColumnStore is the first complete data warehouse solution."

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