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And now it's time for Data Warehouses as a Service

Kognitio monitors toaster inventory over the wire

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Poor old Teradata - the data warehouse kingpin and lord over real-time global toaster inventory information. First it gets attacked by a host of data warehouse appliance makers, trying to undercut it on price. And now it's being hit by buzzword-based business models from those firing up DaaS (data warehouse as a service) systems.

Earlier this week, Teradata moved to outflank the appliance crowd by expanding its product line to include low-end and mid-range data warehouse gear. Just minutes after our story on Teradata's fresh kit ran, an e-mail arrived from Kognitio. Forget appliances, went the pitch. DaaS - or is it DWaaS - is where you'll find the real data warehouse action.

The technology roots behind Kognitio's play stretch back to a system running on a Thomson transputer and the real-time LynxOS operating system. Over the years, this approach has morphed into one centered on running the WX2 analytical database on top of Linux and x86 servers. Kognitio is also in the process of firming up Solaris x86 support.

Kognitio will sell customers WX2 on its own or help them create their own data warehousing appliances using the software in conjunction with the customers' own servers. And, late last year, Kognitio began a DaaS program, so that customers could tap into its data centers and pay for space on a large-scale data warehouse.

On the surface, the idea of a data warehouse service seems hard to fathom, especially for larger customers. You're sending serious volumes of data over the wire or via the mail for frequent analysis and then waiting to get the results back. This is perhaps a tough sell in a business that thrives on using sophisticated data analytics to make rapid decisions.

Kognitio, however, says it can handle the task at hand and points to BT as a giant customer that's already using the DaaS service in the UK.

"For BT, we work with their pricing department," John Thompson, Kognitio's US operations chief, told us. "They collect competitive tariff information and provide that to us. We re-price all BT's calls based on competitive tariffs."

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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