Exclusive Interview: Quentin Gallivan, Aster Data

September 22, 2010

In the last year or two, a new type of data management opportunity has blossomed. I describe this sector as “big data analytics”, although the azure chip consultants will craft more euphonious jargon. One of the most prominent companies in the big data market is Aster Data. The company leverages BigTable technology (closely associated with Google) and moves it into the enterprise. The company has the backing of some of the most prestigious venture firms; for example, Sequoia Capital and Institutional Venture Partners, among others.

Aster Data, therefore, is one of the flagships in  big data management and big data analysis for data-driven applications.  Aster Data’s nCluster is the first MPP data warehouse architecture that allows applications to be fully embedded within the database engine to enable fast, deep analysis of massive data sets.

The company offers what it calls an “applications-within” approach. The idea is to allow application logic to exist and execute with the data itself. Termed a “Data-Analytics Server,” Aster Data’s solution effectively utilizes Aster Data’s patent-pending SQL-MapReduce together with parallelized data processing and applications to address the big data challenge. Companies using Aster Data include Coremetrics, MySpace, comScore, Akamai, Full Tilt Poker, and ShareThis. Aster Data is headquartered in San Carlos, California.

I spoke with Quentin Gallivan, the company’s new chief executive officer on Tuesday, September 22. Mr. Gallivan made a number of interesting points. He told me that data within the enterprise is “growing at a rate of 60% a year.” What was even more interesting was that data growth within Internet-centric organizations was growing at “100% a year.”

I asked Mr. Gallivan about the key differentiator for Aster Data. Data management and chatter about “big data” peppers the information that flows to me from vendors each day. He said:

Aster Data’s solution is unique in that it allows complete processing of analytic applications ‘inside’ the Aster Data MPP database. This means you can now store all your data inside of Aster Data’s MPP database that runs on commodity hardware and deliver richer analytic applications that are core to improving business insights and providing more intelligence on your business. To enable richer analytic applications we offer both SQL and MapReduce. I think you know that MapReduce was first created by Google and provides a rich parallel processing framework. We run MapReduce in-database but expose it to analysts via a SQL-MapReduce interface. The combination of our MPP DBMS and in-database MapReduce makes it possible to analyze and process massive volumes of data very fast.

In the interview he describes an interesting use case for Barnes & Noble, one of Aster Data’s high profile clients. You can read the full text of the interview in the ArnoldIT.com Search Wizards Speak service by clicking this link. For a complete list of interviews with experts in search and content processing click here. Most of the azure chip consultants recycle what is one of the largest collection of free information about information retrieval in interview form available at this time.

Stephen E Arnold, September 22, 2010

Freebie. Maybe another Jamba juice someday?

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One Response to “Exclusive Interview: Quentin Gallivan, Aster Data”

  1. AsterData partners with Tableau « DECISION STATS on November 30th, 2010 11:04 am

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