Last night, at 1:37 am, I found myself awake and thinking about Vertica. To anyone who knows me, this should come as no surprise. I was thinking about how different Vertica is from so many other players in the market and I realized that we have, for years, proudly described Vertica as a "full ANSI SQL columnar MPP database," but in fact, we’re not. Now let’s be clear – we ARE a full ANSI SQL columnar MPP database but that is only PART of what Vertica is today. A traditional database is based on the expectation that bringing the data to the database is the first and necessary step. But a unified analytics platform like Vertica sees the world differently.
The Big Data balance sheet
Data is an asset and, in my judgment, one of the most valuable assets for every company in every industry. I predict that the widespread monetization of data will ultimately result in a new line item on the GAAP accounting (and IFRS) balance sheet. But like all assets, from brand equity to real estate, different data sets are valued differently. The highest valued data has the greatest opportunity for actionable business insights, which means the most valuable data needs advanced analytics with performance that delivers business advantage. Less valuable data contributes to time series, pattern matching and historical reporting, all of which has value but is not required for real-time decision making.
Getting calue from data siloes
This leads to the challenge facing the vast majority of enterprises today – data silos, disparate analytics and operational complexity, especially related to data movement. Why? Because high value data goes into the analytical database and lower value data goes into low-cost data lakes like Hadoop and object stores like Amazon S3, leading to the disconnect between analytical insights. Our customers need to be alerted when some combination of data points cross a value threshold or some combination of trend lines cross a slope threshold, but if some of this data is stored in one place and some of this data is stored elsewhere, there’s a problem. Unless, of course, Vertica is the unified analytics platform that can JOIN these data sets, integrate with tools in the open source and commercial ecosystem, and provide a full suite of advanced analytical functions and technology (think time series, pattern matching, projections, and more).
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Vertica!
Vertica began as a high-performance analytical database designed to address the need for actionable business insights mined from the most valuable data. But the Vertica team is not arrogant. We don’t demand our customers put all their data into Vertica. Why? Because we understand that it makes business and technical sense to keep different data sets in different formats in different locations. Today (and for the last few years) Vertica is more than a database. Vertica is a query engine that can perform the same analytics on remote data (data lakes, object stores) and most importantly, combine (tech talk = JOIN) the analytical functions leading to a unified view of business insights but with the economic benefits of low-cost distributed file stores. Vertica is no longer JUST a database. It is an advanced analytics platform that unifies analytical insights regardless of data location.
Future-proof your analytics investment for a good night's sleep
Vertica adapts to the market. Vendors who don’t adapt, who don’t recognize that not all data should be forced into a single, legacy data warehouse architecture, find themselves in the same situation as IBM Netezza and ultimately walk away, leaving their customers stranded and scrambling.
Some would argue that requiring all the data to be loaded into a single platform in a single format is a “sticky” solution that makes it harder to migrate when new innovation appears on the market. Sound familiar? They’re right – it does. But, for Vertica, they’re wrong, because when we say we focus on doing the right things for our customers, we mean it.
Vertica is an ANSI SQL columnar MPP database AND a query engine AND a machine learning production platform AND an embedded analytics engine optimized to power leading software products, applications, and services.
Team Vertica stays awake thinking and innovating so our customers don’t have to lose sleep. But I’m still planning on a good night’s sleep tonight.
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