Altibase – Enterprise Grade, High Performance, Relational Open Source Database

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Below is our recent interview with Paul Nahm, Chairman at Altibase Corp:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Altibase?

A: Altibase is an enterprise grade, high performance, relational open source database. Since 1999, Altibase has served over 600 enterprise clients including 8 Fortune Global 500 companies in the in-memory and hybrid database spaces.

Q: What is an enterprise grade database?

A: Enterprise clients are the most discerning clients and tend to take the most calculated approach to database adoption. They require product maturity and stability, 24/7 support availability, interoperability with other systems, track record with major enterprises plus experience with Fortune 500 companies from database vendors. Enterprise grade databases should be able to meet those requirements.

Q: But why just not use Oracle or SAP Hana?

A: Altibase is open source and enterprise grade. This means with Altibase you can reap the benefits of both low costs provided by open source DBMSs and peace of mind and accountability provided by legacy DBMSs. In fact, in the last two decades, Altibase has matched Oracle function for function and easily outperformed Oracle TimesTen in various bench market tests.

SAP Hana has not gained any meaningful reference customers in the online transactional processing, or OLTP. And it is a closed source database and is not cheap by any means.

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Q: How is Altibase different from other legacy DBMSs?

A: Altibase is a high performance in-memory database which is mandatory where use cases demand hundreds of thousands of transactions per second with response rates measured in microseconds. In addition, Altibase is a hybrid database combining an in-memory database and a disk-resident database into a single unified engine.

With Altibase, you can get benefits of both types of databases, high performance and vast storage capacity of data. It is like catching two birds with one stone. In fact, Altibase was the first company in the world to develop and commercialize hybrid databases back in 2004.

Q: How would you convince the reader to start using your product? What are the main reasons to do so?

A: Altibase is one of a very small subset of database providers that provide time-tested enterprise grade DBMSs and can replace Oracle and other legacy DBMSs at a fraction of their cost.

Altibase’s in-memory technology appeals to those clients seeking an order of magnitude performance improvements, particularly for those use cases demanding high throughput and extremely low latency.

Moreover, Altibase’s hybrid architecture means flexibility and huge cost savings by eliminating the need to purchase an in-memory database a disk-resident database separately.

Q: Is there any wow factor that might differentiate Altibase from other relational DBMSs?

A: Altibase has recently developed its cutting-edge scale-out technology, sharding and has become one of only a handful relational database vendors who provide such a technology. Moreover, our sharding is unique in that it allows for linear performance enhancement with no coordinator-related bottlenecks. This means there is no performance degradation no matter how many servers are added in scaling out.

We expect that our sharding should appeal to those clients who want to scale out their systems at a fraction of cost of another option, scale-up, which requires to purchase very expensive, high-end servers in dealing with big data.

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Q: How does Altibase compare to other open source database?

A: Altibase has been deployed exclusively for over 6,000 mission critical applications where mere minutes of downtime can translate into millions of dollars in losses and lead to serious litigation and financial risks. This is why Altibase clients mostly comprise major global enterprises.

Unlike Altibase, most open source databases, particularly relational ones, do not have experience with Fortune 500 companies for their mission critical applications.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: The database market is a multi-billion dollar industry that shows few signs of slowing down. And the database is going open source – the trend is clear. Altibase is well positioned to provide its clients with both performance, stability and reliability at a fraction of cost of Oracle and other legacy DBMSs.

For those not familiar with Altibase, the proof is in the pudding.