Chris Webb's BI Blog

Analysis Services, MDX, PowerPivot, DAX and anything BI-related

Google App Engine

with 2 comments

I see Google have announced their own web application platform:
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/04/07/google-jumps-head-first-into-web-services-with-google-app-engine/#comments
which includes BigTable as part of it (remember this post?). There’s speculation over whether Microsoft has something similar up its sleeve:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1320

This and the Panorama and Good Data stuff I blogged about over the last few weeks make me quite excited. What will the next generation of OLAP/BI tools be like? Surely it’s a mistake to think of them as hosted versions of what we’ve got today. As I’ve said before, the attribute-based approach of databases like BigTable remind me of Analysis Services dimensions; wouldn’t it be cool just to be able to grab data from a number of these stores and use them as dimensions and fact tables? Maybe through a front-end that was something like Lotus Improv (thanks to Andew Wiles for directing me to this in a recent conversation) on the web? But with an XMLA interface too? And since in the cloud hardware scale-out will presumably be just a matter of paying a bit more cash, you’d want an engine that could handle that transparently in the way I understand something like Teradata does? Ahh, if only I had a couple of million USD$s of VC funding to waste I’d hire Mosha and set him to work on this…

Written by Chris Webb

April 8, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Posted in On the internet

2 Responses

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  1. I would say the scalability of the cloud concept is less like Teradata (and the appliance vendors such as Netezza) and more like the SAP Business Intelligence Accellerator (BIA).  BIA takes data from the SAP-BI "cubes" and translates into a bunch of files using their TREX search engine technology.  These indexes are surprisingly small compared to a bunch of relationtional tables.  BIA then compresses these files and holds them "in-memory" across a huge parallel network of blade servers. 
     
    Unless your point about Teradata was more about the payment… in which case I would say that Netezza is the better comp.  For Netezza you can pay for a "10TB" platform.  They will send you a 25TB platform and charge you for a 10TB.  All of the processors are there, and all of the disks.  All of your data gets striped across all of the disks.  Licensing software is what is keeping you from using the entire 25TB.   Once you pay for the extra disk space, you just type in your new license key and it unlocks the space.

    Robert

    April 9, 2008 at 1:49 am

  2. Hey Chris,I think that you need to seperate storage and aggregation engines.While SSAS is doing aggregation and storage of multi-dimensional data, from what I see BigTable is just another data structure that contains multi-dimensional data.The exciting thing will be that these two technologies will join (or maybe CrossJoin :-) together and we\’ll have a powerful agg. & storage engine for multi-dimensional data. The problem is that one is in the hands of Microsoft and the other is Google, so I can\’t see where they meet in the future.Sorry for disappointing…

    Miky Schreiber

    May 1, 2008 at 3:55 pm


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