Vertica Review

Great Platform


If you are in the topic of Databases, you should know who is Dr. Michael Stonebraker, who is right now an adjunct professor in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, considered like one of the world experts in this field. Why I began in that way? Because Dr. Stonebraker co-founded Vertica Systems, seeing the innovation behind this amazing product.

But, What is Vertica?

Vertica Analytic Database is a high performance MPP (Massive Parallel Processing) columnar engine optimized to deliver faster query results in the shortest time. I said optimized because this is a keyword inside the Vertica team: every piece of code in Vertica has a lot of research and innovation, which I will discuss later. I heard abut this database when I was writing a research paper for my organization about MPP systems, and I found that Vertica was one of the good players in this Big Data Analytics game (the other good players are the Greenplum Database and Teradata’s Aster Data Platform). Then, HP saw the great opportunity that this product represented for the Big Data business and acquired the company in 2011.

OK, let’s talk now about some of the Vertica’s features

  • Column-based storage:

    Vertica use a patented architecture called FlexStoreTM, created based on three principles: the grouping of multiples columns in a single file, the selection of disk storage format based on data load patterns automatically, and the ability to differentiate storage media by their performance characteristics and to enable intelligent placement of data based on usage patterns

  • Advanced Data compression:

    Based on the choosed architecture by Vertica team of grouping columns in a single file; the data compression follows the same principle: Vertica organizes values of similar data types contiguously in memory and on disk, enabling to select the best compression algorithm depending of the data type. This improves dramatically the query execution and parallel load times

  • Built-in Analytics functions:

    Vertica comes with a completed packages of useful functions for Analytics, divided by topics like Natural Language Processing, Data Mining, Logistic Regression, etc. This is called User-Defined Extensions. You can read more about this here in this whitepaper

  • Automatic High Availability:

    Vertica allows to scale your data almost without limits, with remarkable features like automatic failover and redundancy, fast recovery, and fast query performance, executing queries 50x-1000x faster eliminating costly disk I/O.

  • Native integration with Hadoop, BI and ETL tools:

    Seamless integration with a robust and ever growing ecosystem of analytics solutions.

You can read deeply about all these features here. The last version of the platform is Vertica 6, and here you can find some of the new features and improvements in this version, or you can view this video, where Luis Maldonado, Director of Product Management at Vertica, explaining a quick overview of this version.

Ok, it’s a great platform, but who are using it today?

There are a lot of companies that are trusting in Vertica today: Twitter, Zynga (th number # 1 company in the Social Gaming industry), Groupon, JPMorgan Chase, Mozilla, AT&T, Verizon, Diio, Capital IQ, Guess Inc,and many more. Read its testimonials here.

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