How to Buy an Analytic DBMS - InformationWeek

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12/22/2008
05:54 AM
Curt Monash
Curt Monash
Commentary
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How to Buy an Analytic DBMS

I went to London for a couple of days recently, at the behest of Kognitio. The main driver for the trip was a seminar at which I was the featured speaker... I delivered practical advice on the subject of how to buy an analytic DBMS, starting with this seven-part self assessment...

I went to London for a couple of days recently, at the behest of Kognitio. Since I was in the neighborhood anyway, I visited their offices for a briefing. But the main driver for the trip was a seminar Thursday at which I was the featured speaker. As promised, the slides have been uploaded here.

The material covered on the first 13 slides should be very familiar to readers of this blog. I touched on database diversity and the disk-speed barrier, after which I zoomed through a quick survey of the data warehouse DBMS market. But then I turned to material I've been working on more recently - practical advice directly on the subject of how to buy an analytic DBMS.

I started by proposing a seven-part segmentation self-assessment:

1. What is your tolerance for specialized hardware? 2. What is your tolerance for set-up effort? 3. What is your tolerance for ongoing administrative burden? 4. What are your insert and update requirements? 5. At what volumes will you run fairly simple queries? 6. What are your complex queries like? 7. Are you madly in love with your current DBMS?

That's my way of unpacking such general questions as:

  • What are your deep-seated platform prejudices?
  • What kinds of skilled administrative personnel do you have available?
  • What are the key drivers of TCO in your shop?
  • What are your real performance requirements?

Then I got even more direct, drilling down into the four-stage analytic DBMS buying process:

  • Figure out what you're trying to buy
  • Make a short list
  • Do free POCs
  • Evaluate and decide

The least obvious part of that drill-down was probably my points on making sure you actually were building the evaluation around the right use cases, and hence the right target queries. I plan to say much more about that part soon. Stay tuned.

Related link: The "Baseball Bat" Test I went to London for a couple of days recently, at the behest of Kognitio. The main driver for the trip was a seminar at which I was the featured speaker... I delivered practical advice on the subject of how to buy an analytic DBMS, starting with this seven-part self assessment...

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