Radiant Response: Actian Vectorwise Scales Out to Large Data Warehouses

Actian Vectorwise Scales Out to Large Data Warehouses

A leader in next generation data management, Actian Corporation announced today an OEM agreement with ScaleMP to provide a virtualized high-performance, low-cost hardware model for big data analytics.

Actian Vectorwise Announces OEM Agreement

On November 14, 2012, Actian Corporation (, a leader in next generation data management and author of Vectorwise analytic database, introduced an OEM agreement with ScaleMP, creators of vSMP Foundation virtualization software, to provide large data warehouses with a high-performance, low-cost hardware model for big data analytics. The solution is scheduled to be available in January 2013.

Actian Vectorwise analytics database optimizes the performance of the x86 chip architecture using vector processing performance. Partnering with ScaleMP will allow the disruptive combination of high-performance and affordability by introducing the ability to pool multiple systems into a single virtual system.

Actian Corporation supports the data management needs of 10,000 customers, including dozens of Internet and Social Media companies. Clients include Ebay, Zoho, Badoo, and Datamatics. Actian is headquartered in California with offices in New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Melbourne.

Radiant Response

“Scale-up” versus “scale-out” database platforms have long been a subject of debate in the business intelligence community. The linear scalability of massively parallel processing (MPP) database architectures has taken center stage in the market, leaving long-standing symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) databases characterized as not scalable, expensive, or reserved for transactional processing — not analytics. Now, the gap has closed significantly between the “shared-nothing memory” architecture of MPP and the “shared-memory” architecture of SMP for most BI architectures under 40TB with this announcement, eliminating the need for database clustering.

Positioned in the market, and in Radiant Advisors’ Modern BI Architectures Framework, as a high-performance database, Actian Vectorwise specializes in threaded core processing and utilizing cache to outperform traditional SMP and in-memory databases. Following its newly announced OEM alliance with ScaleMP, Vectorwise will leverage the vSMP Foundation product with technical specifications of up to128 commodity x86 servers in a single operating system with up to 256 TB of shared memory and up to 32,768 cores in a virtual SMP. We look forward to seeing Vectorwise’s unique high-performance approach in a virtualized SMP environment, challenging other columnar and analytic MPP databases, and anticipate favorable benchmarks as early-adopter implementations become available.

Now, Actian Vectorwise can continue to exploit cores and in-memory processing while no longer limited to physical server size configurations.  Scaling up SMPs have typically required higher costs for higher density cores and memory per server. With ScaleMP enabled Vectorwise can lower costs and fewer cores per chips can be utilized across up to 128 servers as a single SMP instance. While a mix of higher and lower density core servers can be utilized in a single virtual SMP, careful analysis of database workloads will guide the configuration to higher density core servers for more complex database operations when there is a benefit to keeping much of the workload within a physical database, but other workloads and concurrency would benefit from many servers in a virtual SMP. Additionally, we expect that the vSMP “bare-metal” installation on the server will have a minimal impact on overall performance of having a hypervisor layer. Managing a virtual server has already been proven to be easier and lower cost than managing highly specialized OS or database clusters. In the end, with the significant performance gains from CPU cores and in-memory processing, it’s hard to imagine noticing any performance loss from a virtual server.

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Lindy Ryan, Editor-in-Chief | Radiant Advisors

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