Dashboard Insight recently spoke with Infobright's Miriam Tuerk about data warehouse solutions, her partnership with Jaspersoft - and how a customer can get up and running with her open source software in just minutes.
Dashboard Insight: Where does Infobright sit on the B.I. stack?
Miriam Tuerk: Infobright provides the underlying analytic database/data warehouse (and the software includes a high-speed bulk loader). We are integrated with MySQL, which provides the interface to third-party BI tools and includes APIs for a broad range of programming languages. Infobright also works with many of the leading ETL tools on the market.
DI: Can you tell us about the differences between Infobright’s self-managing solution and other data warehouse products?
MT: Infobright technology combines a column-oriented database with a knowledge grid architecture that eliminates the need to create indexes, partition data, build physical data structures or do any ongoing database tuning. Instead, the knowledge grid automatically creates a metadata layer as data is loaded, which is used during the processing of a query to eliminate the need to access most or all of the data to answer the query. Infobright also has very high data compression, averaging 10:1, which significantly reduces storage requirements and administrative effort. Infobright uses industry-standard servers and can scale to 50TB using a single server.
DI: How are your customers using your product?
MT: Customers use Infobright as their analytic database or data warehouse to support their query and reporting needs. They select it due to its ease of use, simplicity of management, low cost and scalability. About half of our customers are using MySQL for their OLTP needs and need a scalable, high-performance database for analytics, as the volume of data they have exceeds 200 GBs or so. Typical use cases are click stream analysis, or other online analytics in support of web-based businesses, log file analysis of a wide range of information including network management data, telco CDR data, or financial transaction log files. We also have a growing number of ISVs and SaaS providers integrating Infobright with their application or service as the underlying analytic database.
DI: How long does it take a customer to get up and running with your solution?
MT: The beauty of our model is that a customer can download our software in minutes and be ready to load data in just a few additional minutes. We accept any database schema so users can “load and go.” We provide a free, open source download, as well as a commercial edition that includes some additional features and comes with support, warranty and value-added services.
DI: How many customers do you have today? What industries are they in?
MT: We have had almost 10,000 downloads of our open source product and have more than 50 commercial customers. They span many industries but the most common are online businesses (such as online marketing/advertising, social networks, etc.), telecommunications companies and ISVs, and financial services companies.
DI: Do you offer localized versions of your solutions? If so, can you tell us about what you offer?
MT: We do not have localized versions.
DI: You recently partnered with Jaspersoft to offer an end-to-end open source BI, ETL, and data warehouse solution; can you tell us more about this partnership?
MT: In order to help users get started quickly with an entire BI stack, we created a joint open source project with Jaspersoft. We tested it end to end and it includes links for JasperETL, Infobright Community Edition, and the Jaspersoft BI suite. There is documentation for people to get started quickly and a forum to ask questions and get fast answers. They can find it all at http://jasperforge.org/plugins/project/project_home.php?projectname=infobright
DI: What are some key BI best practices you would recommend?
MT: There are more choices than ever when someone is looking to select a BI tool or analytic database and this is a great time to try open source solutions. Data warehousing does not need to be the complex, expensive undertaking it has traditionally been, as there are lots of new technologies someone can choose today. Column databases, such as Infobright, are designed for analytics, so if someone has not looked into them, it is a must do. Infobright goes a lot further with our knowledge grid, which eliminates the administrative effort that is typical with a data warehouse and lets users leverage their existing hardware rather than having to buy lots of servers and storage.
DI: We are in a harsh economic environment right now. How is Infobright addressing that?
MT: Our open source offering means people can get started immediately at no cost - and our software reduces administrative effort up to 90 percent versus other products. Massive data compression reduces storage requirements and our ability to scale up to 50TB on a single server means less hardware. Our commercial edition product is the lowest-cost enterprise-class data warehouse on the market.
DI: What can we expect to see from Infobright in the coming months?
MT: We recently announced our plans to deliver our simplified scalability architecture, which will provide the ability to scale the number of concurrent queries and database size by using a shared-everything architecture and adding servers as they are needed. This leverages the ease of use and management simplicity we have today to a multi-server environment. We will also continue to add new features based on our community and customer input. We encourage people to join our community at www.infobright.org, learn more, and download the software to try it for themselves.
A formidable business visionary, Miriam Tuerk has guided Infobright from its core technology roots into leadership in open source data warehousing. Prior to joining Infobright, Miriam spent 11 years with BCE Emergis and its predecessors, Newstar Technologies and Bryker Data Systems. Starting as a sales executive, Miriam finished her tenure at Emergis as President of the eBusiness division. Her distinct expertise in strategy, sales, profitability, team building, and large-scale program implementation was material in helping Emergis grow from $7 million to $660 million in revenues over a nine-year period. Miriam's 20 years of experience includes work in both the consulting and telecommunications sectors covering Canadian as well as the U.S., European and Asian markets. Miriam holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo.