Aster Data Systems Announces Industry's Most Cost-Effective Massively Parallel (MPP) Data Warehouse Appliance

Aster Changes the Economics of Data Warehousing by Introducing $50,000 Aster MapReduce Data Warehouse Appliance, Powered by Dell and MicroStrategy

San Carlos, Calif. – June 29, 2009 – Aster Data Systems, a proven leader in high-performance database systems for data warehousing and analytics, today unveiled the first-ever massively parallel (MPP) data warehousing appliance starting at $50,000, fundamentally changing the economics of data warehousing by providing the industry’s most ‘compute rich’ appliance on a lower-cost architecture that is also cheaper to administer and operate.

The “Big Data” trend is growing. The majority of data warehouses still remain under 1TB, but companies are realizing they need a viable database platform to scale and provide high-speed analysis to meet their needs. Massively parallel (MPP) data warehouses are known for providing the most scalability, best analytic performance, highest availability, and most flexibility in a data warehousing architecture. But to date, many organizations have not been able to afford high-end MPP data warehouses or appliances as they are cost prohibitive.

Aimed at organizations that want a powerful, easily scalable, MPP data warehouse appliance, the new Aster MapReduce Data Warehouse Appliance – Express Edition pre-packages the high-performance Aster nCluster analytic database software on Dell hardware, along with an option to include MicroStrategy’s powerful business intelligence (BI) software for up to one terabyte of user data. Even for smaller data warehouses up to 1 TB, customers will see significant improvement in analysis speeds by leveraging a MPP architecture. As a result, business analysts within organizations or departments who need the power and scalability of a MPP system now have a way to start small and grow incrementally without huge up-front costs. This unlocks powerful BI and analytics on an MPP database platform that is easy-to-use, set-up, and administer – lowering both capital and operating expenses.

Published benchmarks have shown 9x faster query performance within the Aster MapReduce Data Warehouse Appliance over standalone SQL relational databases because of the novel SQL-MapReduce framework, which enables standard SQL as well as rich analytic applications to execute in parallel with a single pass of the data[1]. The Appliance therefore packs a lot of power even at the cost-effective price of $50K.

Aster also announced the availability of the Aster MapReduce Data Warehouse Appliance – Enterprise Edition, in sizes ranging from one terabyte to one petabyte of user data. Aster now covers the entire spectrum of the data warehousing and analytics market through its existing software-only and cloud-based offerings and the new appliance product line.

“The Aster MapReduce Data Warehouse Appliance changes the economics of MPP data warehousing appliances by enabling an entry point of $50K for the most compute-rich, analytically-expressive data warehouse appliance on the market,” said Mayank Bawa, CEO of Aster Data. “This contrasts directly with an entry price of $500K for appliances from Teradata, Netezza, and Oracle. With a huge number of data warehouses under 1TB, this entry pricing now democratizes data warehousing and fast, rich analytics, and brings the power of data within the reach of departments and enterprises, big and small.”

Aster’s unique approach to parallelism in the data warehouse enables the data warehouse to run on true commodity-grade hardware, which is ‘compute-rich’ and packs a powerful analytical punch. Entry-level data warehouse appliances from Teradata, Netezza, and Oracle list anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to over a million - out of reach for 90% of organizations or smaller corporate departments.

The Aster MapReduce Data Warehouse Appliance is extremely well-suited for rich analysis of data due to its combination of raw compute power, standard SQL support, and ability to tremendously speed-up analytical applications via MapReduce. The new Aster Appliance uses commodity hardware, which has a powerful balance of CPU, RAM, and disk - providing the most cost-effective and compute-rich MPP database platform in the market.  And because of the low cost to purchase and manage, analysts across multiple divisions of the business can get faster answers to sophisticated queries.

“Today, smaller data warehouses are commonly solving organizations' analytical needs. Data warehousing appliances enable enterprises to quickly load, manage, and analyze large amounts of data and receive good value for performance,” said Donald Feinberg, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner. “As enterprises realize these benefits, the market for data warehouse appliances is growing rapidly.”

Key Advantages:

  • Lower operations costs: With online fault tolerance and recovery, the Aster Appliance provides “hands-free” availability and resiliency for mission-critical data-driven applications while running on low-cost commodity hardware. Aster provides dependable 99.99% uptime with reduced troubleshooting costs.
  • Lower administration costs: With Aster’s easy-to-use interface and pre-packaged SQL/MapReduce functions, companies can drop in the appliance, load data, and start seeing powerful results through BI tools such as MicroStrategy in 1-2 days. This puts the power of MapReduce into the hands of business analysts and knowledge discoverers quickly, and with lower costs than custom development and ongoing management. Even more, Aster’s Live Administration enables all routine administrative tasks in the appliance to be done while the system is online – including loading, back-up, adding new nodes, and correcting data skew.
  • Analytical power: Since the Aster Appliance runs reliably on commodity hardware, it provides the highest ratio of CPU and RAM per terabyte of data in the market.  Even more, the integrated SQL/MapReduce framework for analytics and BI increases query performance by 9x or more when compared with other SQL-only data warehouse appliances in the market.

“Enterprises need to extract more insight and value from their ever-increasing data volumes to improve profits and maintain a competitive edge,” said Sanju Bansal, COO of MicroStrategy. “We are pleased to work with Aster as they bring to market a new data warehouse appliance that harnesses the power of MapReduce and incorporates MicroStrategy’s robust business intelligence software.”

For detailed appliance specifications, please visit www.asterdata.com/product/appliance.php.

About Aster Data Systems
Aster Data Systems is a proven leader in high-performance analytic database systems for data warehousing - the first DBMS to tightly integrate SQL with MapReduce - providing deep insights on data analyzed on clusters of low-cost commodity hardware. The Aster nCluster database cost-effectively powers frontline analytic applications for companies such as Coremetrics, MySpace, aCerno (an Akamai company), and ShareThis. Running on low-cost off-the-shelf hardware, and providing 'hands-free' administration, Aster enables enterprises to meet their data warehousing needs within their budget. Aster is headquartered in San Carlos, California and is backed by Sequoia Capital, JAFCO Ventures, IVP, Cambrian Ventures, and First-Round Capital, as well as industry visionaries including David Cheriton and Ron Conway. For more information please visit http://www.asterdata.com, or call 650-232-4400.

Aster Data Systems, Aster nCluster and the Aster logo are registered trademarks of Aster Data Systems. All other brands and trademarks referenced herein are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Press Contact:
Zenobia Godschalk
ZAG Communications for Aster Data Systems

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