Open source compresses data warehouse margins

The knock on open source databases has always been that it doesn't scale. With this new offering, users can scale from a few megabytes to multiple terabytes, without changing the underlying database structure.

announced today it and Sun can now deliver data warehouses at $20,000 per usable terabyte.

That's an order-of-magnitude less than proprietary companies offer, said CEO Scott Yara. An order of magnitude.

The solution combines Greenplum's open source software with Sun x4600 hardware, part of its x64 product line.

But data warehousing customers aren't the only folks reaping the benefits here. Because Greenplum's work is based on open source, everyone who is part of the Bizgres project, which they helped launch in 2004 based on PostgreSQL, is seeing benefits.

"We've added a number of really powerful features, including table partitioning, so you can manage huge volumes of data logically. We added a bit map index that dramatically improves performance for key analytical queries. We improved the bulk loading speed 2-3 times. By joining the community you get a platform that can take you up to the data warehousing space."

This is vital stuff if you want to be the next MySpace or YouTube. The knock on open source databases has always been that it doesn't scale.  "There are people with just a handful of megabytes in the database using PostgreSQL," said Yara.

With this new offering, those same users can now scale to multiple terabytes, without changing the underlying database structure.

Small wonder that Yara's OSCON talk today was called School of Rock.

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