Startup releases open source data warehouse

Infobright also has gained Sun Microsystems as an investor through a $10 million round of venture funding

Analytic data warehousing vendor Infobright is releasing an open source data warehousing product under the GPL v2 license, and has gained Sun Microsystems as an investor through a $10 million round of venture funding, the startup announced Monday.

The size of Sun's stake in the funding round was not disclosed.

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Meanwhile, Infobright is adding the open source Community Edition to its existing enterprise offering. The latter product provides features such as faster data-loading, support for text and binary loading, a product warranty, and indemnification.

Infobright had already integrated its technology with Sun's open source MySQL database. And competitors like Greenplum have also incorporated open-source database technology in their products.

But no data warehouse vendors have "a purely open-source-based solution -- i.e., one that also incorporates an open-source data loader, open-source query-optimization tools, open-source workload management tools, and so forth," said Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus via e-mail. "So Infobright offering a purely open-sourced DW product gives them that degree of competitive differentiation."

That said, while open source software means zero license costs for core components and the ability to tweak source code, it is unlikely that any customer would choose not to buy support, and there would be associated hardware costs, Kobielus said.

"Also, users would need to train or recruit DBAs and developers on the open-source DW stack, plus (in non-greenfield deployments) task developers with migrating and rewriting ETL scripts, OLAP cubes, reports, and analytics to interface with the open-source DW," he added. "So it's not at all clear whether a purely open-source DW would be any cheaper over its lifecycle to implement and administer than a traditional DW incorporating closed-source software."

For its part, Infobright positions the Community Edition as better for departmental uses or "open source enthusiasts," and the enterprise product for broader demands.

A four-hour support pack will be available for the Community Edition for $750, in addition to the community site at www.infobright.org. Enterprise edition subscription pricing starts at $9,950 per terabyte per year.

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