Feeds

DATAllegro - is it all hype?

Apparently not...

Boost IT visibility and business value

Comment Towards the end of last year I wrote an article about the future of data warehouse appliances, asking whether it was a boom or bust. Since then, a number of the vendors mentioned in that article have been in touch with me, plus one other company that I am not at liberty to name. Interestingly, I have spent an extended time with DATAllegro, looking into the product’s architecture and examining how (and if) it can do what it claims it can do.

Before I reveal the results of my findings I should tell you about the company’s claims. To begin with, it claims to offer superior performance to the likes of Teradata and IBM and even more superior performance compared to Oracle or Microsoft (which is a logical corollary to the first statement). Typically, such performance benefits are measured in orders of magnitude. This isn’t difficult to believe for a number of reasons.

The first reason why this is understandable is because there are referenceable customers who will attest to this fact (albeit that these are not yet publicly announced), the second is because Netezza has already proved that performance gains of this magnitude are achievable, and, thirdly, because the architecture of the product also makes such claims realistic. So, the performance gains are dramatic but they are no more, or not much more, than other appliance vendors are claiming. No, the really startling thing about DATAllegro is that it is claiming to provide 10-100x performance gains at a tenth of the price or less.

The big question is whether this is actually credible - price/performance that is a hundred to a thousand times better is a huge change - can it really be true?

Yes, I think it can. Take the slave units in DATAllegro’s architecture. These consist of one or two Intel processors, some memory, the Ingres open source database and six RAID arrays consisting of 12 disks. This is basically the same approach as taken by other appliance vendors with one exception: the others typically have only one or two disks per slave. While there are other sources of its cost cutting, this is the big one: the fact that you need way less slave units.

This raises another question: how can DATAllegro manage six RAID arrays and still maintain its performance? The answer is that it has done some clever stuff with the partitioning in Ingres, so that it supports sequential I/O (as does Netezza) rather than random I/O. This, incidentally, is the basic secret behind warehouse appliances, along with the fact that you only need an SMP box at the front-end of your warehouse, which significantly reduces the cost compared to the all MPP systems of the likes of Teradata.

Anyway, the bottom line is I think DATAllegro can genuinely offer the sort of performance and price advantages that it claims. Of course, it is not a panacea: it isn’t and doesn’t claim to be an enterprise data warehouse (at least, not yet) but it is also more than a data mart. In particular, its price point is such that it is opening up new possibilities within the data warehousing space that were previously precluded on account of their price.

Finally, for UK readers, it is worth noting that DATAllegro has just appointed an agent in this country (run by Alex McMorland, who is well known in this space), which will act as a sales force (contracts will be with DATAllegro) and provide professional services for the customers that DATAllegro hopes to gain here. I expect that Alex will be kept busy in the months and years to come.

Copyright © 2006, IT-Analysis.com

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.