MariaDB Corporation is preparing to expand beyond its roots in SQL transaction processing with a new tool that pairs the MariaDB relational database system with a columnar storage engine, enabling it to handle analytical and business intelligence workloads in addition to transactions.
MariaDB Enterprise OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) is under development now, and aims to unite transactional and analytical processing, enabling both kinds of query to be performed using the MariaDB database management system as the front end.
The company aims to begin beta testing with selected customers in May, and hopes to have a release version ready in the autumn that will allow it to offer its own business intelligence and analytics tools to rival those from firms such as Teradata and Greenplum.
MariaDB Enterprise OLAP will centre on MariaDB, the firm's commercial database management platform developed as a fork of MySQL. This will be paired with MariaDB ColumnStore, a columnar storage engine for MariaDB intended to deliver massively parallel distributed query execution and data loading.
"We've been working on this column store for a while, and it takes advantage of MariaDB's ability to use different storage engines for different workloads. With this new offering, in principle, it's a storage engine that you put inside MariaDB, but then behind the scenes you can have this massive parallel execution engine to handle queries," said Rasmus Johansson, vice president of engineering at MariaDB.
In fact, MariaDB ColumnStore turns out to be an open source fork of the InfiniDB platform, which was developed to run atop MySQL and use MySQL APIs. This allows MariaDB to act as the front end and query large datasets using standard SQL queries.
"The whole idea behind the column store is that you want to get a response to one single query from a massive amount of data, and you want to find out all the people with a particular level of income or something. If you want to get that fast, you need more servers to look at the data, and that's why you would use Enterprise OLAP," Johansson explained.
This will open MariaDB for use in a broader set of applications, especially big data analytics which is a growing priority for businesses that need to scale their analytics capabilities and extract value from ever-expanding volumes of data.
"The thing we have been lacking on MariaDB is a really powerful analytical engine, and now that we're going into that space it opens all the areas of business intelligence solutions. It was possible to do on a small scale before, but now we can go into the high-end data warehousing analytical solutions where we can compete with vendors like Oracle and Teradata," Johansson said.
MariaDB Enterprise OLAP will be available with subscription-based support along the same lines as the MariaDB Enterprise database.
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