Building the Right Tool for the Job

Dec 21, 2011 10:26:31 AM

Birst Announces Optimized In-Memory Database

Last week, Birst made a thought-provoking announcement regarding its analytical architecture.  Birst, a cloud-based agile analytics company, announced a self-developed, in-memory, columnar data store option for its offerings beginning in January 2012.  This in-memory, columnar database option provides Birst with another self-developed component for its cloud-based architecture.

Optimized Components

With the decision to self-develop an in-memory, columnar data store; Birst is continuing to focus on providing optimized analytical components that fit its pricing model.  Instead of being general use versions resold or embedded from other vendors, several of Birst’s architectural components have been developed and optimized for the analytical requirements most commonly seen in its customers use cases.  Birst’s data visualization and data integration components, also self-developed, have allowed Birst to provide its solution in a unique cloud-based delivery model and price point.

Build or Buy?

Interesting in this announcement is the decision to self-develop an in-memory data store.  Birst’s move to an in-house solution was born of necessity.  Unable to find a suitable alternative in-memory solution in the marketplace, Birst decided to build their own.  The promised operational gains from the in-memory data store should place Birst squarely within the performance requirements of enterprise businesses looking for an analytical solution.  However the price point for this performance improvement will not take Birst out of the operational expense (OPEX) budgets of the small and medium size business (SMB) market.

Question to be Answered

I will be watching to see how the marketplace reacts to this addition to the Birst solution:
  • Will it provide a distinctive “feature” advantage over its competitors?
  • Will it provide a significant “performance” advantage?
  • Both?

Opportunity Cost

It should be noted that Birst’s solution is clearly focused on serving a “cost” (e.g. time and money) conscience market place.  Yet, a majority of the recent in-memory product announcements from Oracle and SAP have focused on longer implementation models and higher price points.  From that perspective, Birst will have an advantage on time to implementation and dollar cost.  Time will tell how the customer base reacts to these differences in delivery models and offering costs.

Other EMA Content

Check out EMA’s recent Impact Brief on Birst’s On Premise Software Appliance.

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John Myers

Written by John Myers

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