Clouds mass over data warehousing

DAAStardly goings-on

DAAS - Data warehousing as a service

For customers who can't afford their very own $4,000,000 in-memory data warehouse, Kognitio offers DAAS (data warehousing as a service). A customer's data is stored in a Kognitio data centre, with a disk pack-based initial data upload and subsequent nightly or weekly updates. Users are charged on a TB used/hour basis.

Kognitio CEO Roger Llewellyn does not want to hear this service described as a data warehouse in the cloud. He says that cloud computing means you don't know where your data is, and that the records in data warehouses are so sensitive, so confidential, that customers must know exactly where they are, and be confident that their data is held securely with access restricted only to the select few. They don't like the idea of a cloud data warehouse at all.

I guess we can use the term "private cloud", though - and "cloud" is a term that's becoming so pervasive that Llewellyn may be fighting an unwinnable battle.

A company called Loyalty Management Group operates a private DW cloud that stores all Sainsbury's EPOS (electronic point of sale) data and sells access to it to Sainsbury's suppliers. If Heinz, for example, wants to know if a baked-bean promotion was successful it can use the LMG facility to check sales through Sainsbury's to find out. There is two years' worth of EPOS data in the warehouse, billions of records, and even shopping-basket analysis queries, said to be the most complex, have results delivered in minutes.

Privately-owned Kognitio is UK-based with just over 80 employees. It has a seven-person US presence and thinks half of its US business in the next year or so will be DAAS-based. The combination of in-memory DW/BI systems providing less expensive and very much faster analysis than disk-based DW/BI, together with private-cloud DAAS, could be a shake-up call to an industry happily in bed with drive arrays. ®

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