Analytics specialist Exasol has created a novel way for customers to run a proof-of-concept pilot for big data projects by offering a free version of its ExaSolution in-memory database capable of running on a single node. The firm has even demonstrated it running on an Intel NUC mini PC.
Available to download now, the free trial version of Exasol's database is restricted to a single node rather than a cluster of servers. This means that potential customers can use it for proof-of-concept projects on a single system without having to invest in costly infrastructure before they are ready to deploy.
It could also prove attractive as a way for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) to dip their toes in the water with big data analytics at relatively low cost, while big data projects are still largely the preserve of large organisations.
The free edition appears to be offered as a virtual appliance, and requires a 64-bit operating system (Windows, Linux or Apple OS X) with at least 4GB memory and a virtual machine player such as VirtualBox, VMware Player or KVM.
Exasol also advises that customers will get the best results with data volumes up to 100GB in capacity, while about 10 to 20 percent of the data should be kept in memory, which is limited to 10GB in the free edition anyway.
Atheon Analytics, a specialist retail analytics consultancy partner of Exasol, has deployed the free single-node edition onto an Intel NUC mini PC in order to power its proof-of-concept data visualisations.
Dubbed "Exasol-in-my-pocket", the demonstration unit proved capable of crunching through 250 million rows of trading data from a large supermarket, analysing statistics around waste reduction and stock control.
"Customers are often surprised when we tell them that this device is our database server, but this mini PC is a great talking-point and ice-breaker as well as being the perfect tool to do our work," said Atheon Analytics managing director Guy Cuthbert.
"We can bring in more data to our visualisations while at the client site and this allows us to create better proof of concepts. Additionally, by running the full Exasol database it takes no further effort to scale up to a multi-node cluster when the customer wishes to progress to a full implementation," he added.
Exasol chief executive Aaron Auld said: "When talking about scalability we often talk about the ability to scale up to large clusters that can handle huge amounts of data, but to have a powerful analytic database that can scale down to a device that you carry around with you in your pocket is just as important for smaller scale implementations."
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