Pivotal Greenplum Review

Handles complex queries and report production efficiently, integrates with Hadoop

What is our primary use case?

We use it for data warehousing.

How has it helped my organization?

For complex queries, which would normally take a long time, and for reporting, it is very efficient. It doesn't take a long time for the execution of any report for the end-user.

What is most valuable?

  • It's one of the fastest databases in the market.
  • It's easy to use.
  • From a maintenance perspective it's a good product.
  • The segmentation, or architecture of the product is different than other databases such as Oracle. So even in 10 years, the data distribution for such segments will not affect other segments.
  • The query performance of the product, for complex queries, is very good.
  • It has good integration with Hadoop and Big Data.

What needs improvement?

The implementation of an upgrade takes a long time. But maybe it's different from one instance to another, I'm not sure.

Also, one of the disadvantages, not a disadvantage with the product itself, but overall, is the expertise in the marketplace. It's not easy to find a Greenplum administrator in the market, compared to other products such as Oracle. We used to work with such products, but for Greenplum, it's not easy to find resources with the knowledge of administration of the database.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If we face any issues they're normal and we open tickets.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. I would rate scalability seven out of 10.

How is customer service and technical support?

We hired one DB admin for Greenplum. If he faces any issues he opens tickets with the vendor, but most of the issues, 90% of them, he is able to solve without support.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We used to other products before, but when we worked with Greenplum, as compared to other products on the market, we found it's a good product.

Before Greenplum, we used Oracle but it was mostly obsolete. So we had to upgrade our tools. We needed to have a database with an API tool.

How was the initial setup?

I'm not a professional in the setup but setup of the environment itself was managed by us. We managed between development, testing, and production servers. We are able to maintain it. I don't think it is complicated.

Most of the issues can be solved without referring back to support. A very small minority of issues required support from the vendor.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing is good compared to other products. It's fine.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a comparison among some databases, one of them Greenplum. We assessed features, did a comparison in terms of the price, then we chose Greenplum. And we've retained it. We've found it's a good product, to date.

Oracle Exadata was part of the comparison, as was IBM Netazza. In terms of quality and the price, compared to the other products, we chose Greenplum. Also, to be honest, at that time we got a good offer: Use it for the first year with a minimal price. Then they opened a support contract with us, later. That was one of the advantages.

What other advice do I have?

I give it an eight out of 10. To bring it up to a 10, they need to interact more with customers. They need to explain the features, especially when there are new releases of Greenplum. I know just from information I've found that it has other features, it can be used to for analytics, for integration with Big Data, Hadoop. They need to focus on this part with the customer. 

Also they need to enhance integration with other Big Data products. They need to adapt more, give more features, because customers are looking for these things in the market now. They have the product itself already, but they need to integrate with Big Data platforms and to open a bi-directional connection between Greenplum and Big Data. They need to focus on these features more.

But, from my perspective, for what I'm looking for, I can say it's a good product. Most of the features I'm looking for are available.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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