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Krish Krishnan

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein.

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

I would like to use this blog to have constructive communication and exchanges of ideas in the business intelligence community on topics from data warehousing to SOA to governance, and all the topics in the umbrella of these subjects.

To maximize this blog's value, it must be an interactive venue. This means your input is vital to the blog's success. All that I ask from this audience is to treat everybody in this blog community and the blog itself with respect.

So let's start blogging and share our ideas, opinions, perspectives and keep the creative juices flowing!

About the author >

Krish Krishnan is a worldwide-recognized expert in the strategy, architecture, and implementation of high-performance data warehousing solutions and big data. He is a visionary data warehouse thought leader and is ranked as one of the top data warehouse consultants in the world. As an independent analyst, Krish regularly speaks at leading industry conferences and user groups. He has written prolifically in trade publications and eBooks, contributing over 150 articles, viewpoints, and case studies on big data, business intelligence, data warehousing, data warehouse appliances, and high-performance architectures. He co-authored Building the Unstructured Data Warehouse with Bill Inmon in 2011, and Morgan Kaufmann will publish his first independent writing project, Data Warehousing in the Age of Big Data, in August 2013.

With over 21 years of professional experience, Krish has solved complex solution architecture problems for global Fortune 1000 clients, and has designed and tuned some of the world’s largest data warehouses and business intelligence platforms. He is currently promoting the next generation of data warehousing, focusing on big data, semantic technologies, crowdsourcing, analytics, and platform engineering.

Krish is the president of Sixth Sense Advisors Inc., a Chicago-based company providing independent analyst, management consulting, strategy and innovation advisory and technology consulting services in big data, data warehousing, and business intelligence. He serves as a technology advisor to several companies, and is actively sought after by investors to assess startup companies in data management and associated emerging technology areas. He publishes with the BeyeNETWORK.com where he leads the Data Warehouse Appliances and Architecture Expert Channel.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Krish's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

September 2008 Archives

The BI market is being flooded with a plethora of options to enable high performance analytics. A new entrant to this market is a definitive "disruptive" technology startup, Kickfire. I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with the Kickfire team and have come to the learn that their approach to the "need for speed" is a new way to solve the speed issue and overall the goal of the founders is to enable "BI to the masses" at an affordable price without breaking the bank.

The solution that Kickfire has is an intelligence engine built into a proprietary "SQL" chip, which will sit between the RDBMS and your BI tools. The chip along with a DB Kernel enhancement (primarily for MySQL today) will provide the acceleration to get the performance.

The company primarily is targeting MySQL customers today, and will expand to other RDBMS platforms in the course of time.

I'm really enthused that we are addressing the "need for speed" at every different angle, and in the end of the day, the business user will be a very satisfied end consumer of all this technology breakthroughs.


Posted September 26, 2008 3:56 PM
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Now that Oracle has announced (Larry's keynote yesterday) that it is a "hardware" player and a "storage" player, where does this lead us to. If you have been following the trend, Oracle now has a direct face-off with IBM. Both the companies have been going through acquisitions and growth to capture the ever-growing BI market. A key question that still remains is - "leaving the big customers aside, do the solutions offered help small and midsize customers". The second question is "how cost effective is Oracle's newest offering - HP Oracle Database Machine and the Exadata Storage ".

In a conversation with Foster Hinshaw, CEO of Dataupia, earlier this morning when asked about his reaction, Foster's comment is "I have a great respect for Oracle and Larry Ellison as a visionary leader. But the latest technology offering from Oracle leaves the overall cost equation from an end to end implementation on a DW project".

I agree with Foster, if you are going to spend $2 million with Exadata over and above your current DW spend, how much is the solution delivery - $5 million or more?, we will need to wait and see.

As an Independent analyst and a great supporter of the improvements for the data warehouse infrastructure team, in my perspective, we have a new player in Exadata from Oracle, which is good news, not great news.

The "HP Oracle Database Machine" is very proprietary solution stack like the old NCR-Teradata model, which probably was something that Mark Hurd, HP CEO and Chairman, had successfully built during his tenure in Teradata.

Another interesting question is where does this leave the "HP Neoview" platform? are we seeing the fading away of "Non Stop SQL" into twilight amidst all this noise?

At the end, whatever one may say or feel about the latest Oracle offerings, I'm still looking at COST, COST and COST, not from hardware or software, but including implementation, maintenance and the whole nine yards.


Posted September 25, 2008 10:08 AM
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I'm watching Larry Ellison on stage in SFO, he has just announced Oracle's Data Warehouse Appliance, called as Oracle Exadata - built jointly with HP. The numbers that Larry has presented for performance are good, but not "mind blowing". I see there are a number of similarities with the data warehouse appliances, and the real challenge is being thrown to Teradata and IBM, in terms of customer studies and data volumes being discussed.

According to Larry, the new appliance will be 10 to 50 times faster than current Oracle data warehouses.

What Oracle is doing in the announcement with it capabilities are already being shown in the field by

Netezza
Dataupia
EMC
ParAccel
AsterData

in the field today.

What will make Oracle successful in this space, when they really have this system available will be the fact that the brand name will stand behind the product support from both Oracle and HP.

Well Oracle, you are singing the tune that has been played over and over for the last decade.

Congrats Larry, welcome to the Data Warehouse Appliance Family. You are starting a long journey with the rest of us in this quest for "data warehouse excellence".

As I'm typing this furiously, Mark Hurd just joined and says the "appliance" word is exciting.


Posted September 24, 2008 4:07 PM
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Later this afternoon we are all very eager to hear Larry Ellison on stage. A big announcement is in the wings on "Data Warehouse Appliance". While I'm not surprised by this, it is definitely worthwhile to watch the traditional players start warming up to the Appliance. More on this to follow after Larry's keynote address.

With Oracle' s announcement on "cloud computing" yesterday and appliances today, we now see a clear landscape on where all the players are aligned.

Maybe Gartner and Forester will now start the "DW Appliances" sections of their quadrants and waves.


Posted September 24, 2008 1:03 PM
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I have been drumming the fact that for any business intelligence or data warehouse project to be successful, you need a good and robust infrastructure. This means that you will need a robust team that can design, build and support that infrastructure. Just having a good team will not mean a good foundation for infrastructure. You will need a strong and visionary leader that can lead the infrastructure strategy and provide thought leadership for the solution.

Apart from the team and its leadership, you will need to spend a few weeks of time doing in-depth analysis of the requirements of what the solution demands from performance, data needs, user security, data movement, impact to current infrastructure and come up with a finite set of infrastructure requirements and the associated project plan to accomplish the tasks.

Organizations often find themselves painted into a corner in terms of infrastructure in business intelligence or data warehousing projects. The root cause of this is either complacency about the capabilities of the infrastructure team or allowing scope creep internally or externally in the infrastructure phases of the project or being just ignorant of the critical role of infrastructure design. The net result of such a misstep often leads to burn-outs of people in the project and sometimes causes more harm to the project.

As a rule of thumb here are a few suggestions

1. Always plan for infrastructure and the teams needed to make it happen.
2. Spend enough cycles documenting requirements for infrastructure. If no business requirements are specified, use a best practices approach to building an environment for the project.
3. Do not increase scope to such an extent that the project will fail due to unnecessary demands on the infrastructure. This is a very common behavior that I have seen.
4. Plan the infrastructure design in phases. do not design multiple phases based on a single blueprint. this is especially true in the case of databases.
5. Always leave time for performance tuning. You cannot design a perfect solution.
6. If you want to attempt to bring additional ideas for a long term solution, do not guinea-pig the current project. You will fail to achieve either step and end up with frustrated users and leadership.

There are many more things to discuss in this area, but the bottom line is if you build a weak foundation, the project will collapse, if you build a very strong foundation, you might be too late for the next steps. This is always a fine balance game and you need to know how to play it to achieve success.


Posted September 17, 2008 9:29 PM
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