An SQL-based Alternative to Managing Big Data

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

The Business Impact of Big Data

Many business executives want more information than ever, even though they're already drowning in it.

It seems these days that no matter what the question is related to managing Big Data, Hadoop is the answer.

But the folks at GE Intelligent Platforms would beg to differ. While Hadoop is fine in many instances, Brian Courtney, general manager for operations data management for GE Intelligent Platforms, says that there are plenty of scenarios where SQL databases are just fine for managing Big Data scenarios.

GE Intelligent Platforms this week released version 4.5 of Proficy Historian, which is a data management application built on top of SQL databases that can now handle up to 15 million tags of data. Courtney says that GE uses Proficy Historian to address time series process data queries commonly found in manufacturing environments by compressing all the data before writing it out to disk. Those same time-series processes are commonly used in a number of vertical industries, which Courtney says Proficy Historian is much better suited to handle than either Hadoop or a columnar database platform.

Courtney says that not only are Hadoop developers in short supply, many IT organizations are loath to bring in yet another data management framework that has to be managed and supported. Proficy Historian allows organizations that have invested in SQL databases to manage Big Data applications that can be larger than anything available on an emerging technology platform, said Courtney. At the same time, Proficy Historian supports open interfaces that allow data from Proficy Historian to be moved into other data management platforms, including Hadoop.

Ultimately, Courtney says that not only is Proficy Historian a superior approach from a performance perspective, it's less costly from a total ownership perspective because it doesn't require companies to adopt a new class of data management systems to address Big Data issues.

Clearly, there is a massive amount of interest in all-things Big Data these days, but in the rush to get more value out of all the data a company collects, it might be worth taking the time to really think about which Big Data approach is going to work best for your company over the long haul.

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Dec 9, 2011 3:15 AM DataH DataH  says:

Great article Mike. It is also worth mentioning the HPCC System's platform is a great fit for all data models. Unlike Hadoop distributions, HPCC is a mature platform and provides for a data delivery engine together with a data transformation and linking system equivalent to Hadoop. The main advantages over other alternatives are the real-time delivery of data queries and the extremely powerful ECL language programming model. Also, the ROI for HPCC is significantly better than Hadoop due to the fact that they require less nodes and less programmers. See for more information.


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