Hardware for Analytics

You don't generally think of Sybase Inc. as a hardware vendor. And it's not. But come July, the Dublin, Calif., company will add the Sybase Analytic Appliance on IBM Power Systems to its product line.

Irfan Khan, chief technology officer at Sybase, claims that the product addresses a "burgeoning problem" in business: There are orders of magnitude more data than ever, all being sliced and diced in every direction by more people with more purposes than ever before.

Khan says the need for a high-performance, general-purpose analytics tool is so broad that for many applications, a packaged hardware/software appliance can do the job as well as or better than a custom analytics infrastructure.

Database maker Sybase now offers hardware for "out of the box" analytics.

The appliance includes the Sybase IQ database and PowerDesigner, the company's database design and modeling tool. It also comes with MicroStrategy Inc.'s appliance management console and, of course, an AIX-based IBM dual-core server with 8GB of memory. You can bolt on more processing and memory capacity as your data continues to expand. Pricing runs around $27,000 per terabyte of storage.

Losing the Hardware

In a small victory in the war against data center clutter, Burlington, Mass.-based Certeon Inc. is dropping its Linux-based hardware appliance. It will now accelerate WAN apps with aCelera, a virtual machine.

Another plus of going all-software is price. Certeon's S-Series appliances started at $6,000, whereas an aCelera VM starts at $2,495.

And the performance difference is negligible, according to Gareth Taube, vice president of marketing.

There are limits to the good news, of course. Currently, Certeon's proprietary "blueprinting" techniques for speeding up apps on your WAN work only for SharePoint, SAP and Documentum environments. And aCelera is available today only for VMware. A Hyper-V version will follow Microsoft's delivery of its VM technology this summer, and one for Xen won't ship until the end of the year.

SugarCRM Opens SaaS Market

SugarCRM Inc. in Cupertino, Calif., has released a beta of its brand-new Sugar Data Center Edition (DCE) tool that can turn SugarCRM (Version 5.1 or later) into SaaS implementations of the popular open-source CRM software.

John Roberts, SugarCRM Inc.
John Roberts

CEO John Roberts might dispute the description "brand-new" for Version 1.0 of DCE, given that it's really an open-source release of the management console the company has been using for some time now with its own Sugar On-Demand software-as-a-service business.

But Roberts says he didn't think it was right for SugarCRM, as an open-source company, to be the only entity that could offer its app as a service. "Why make everybody come to our servers?" he asks.

Pricing will vary.

Roberts, a former software engineer, says SugarCRM's goal is to out- engineer proprietary competitors in both the SaaS and on-premises applications businesses.

"We're going to compete with great code," he says. "We're going to do to proprietary CRM vendors what Japanese automakers did to Detroit in the 1970s."

So, would that make SugarCRM the Corolla or the 240Z of our times?

More Buzz

Discover and discuss more industry action at the On the Mark blog: computerworld.com/blogs/hall.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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