NoSQL player Aerospike links up with Starburst for SQL-based access to edge data

'We’re not necessarily replacing Snowflake' is an interesting choice of words


Aerospike, the value-key NoSQL database, has launched a collaboration with data connection vendor Starburst to offer SQL access to its datastores.

Dubbed Aerospike SQL Powered by Starburst, the system hopes to offer data analysts and data scientists a single point of access to federated data in Aerospike using existing SQL analytic tools such as Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI. It is the first time Aerospike has offered an off-the-shelf tool to analyze its database using SQL, the ubiquitous database language.

Aerospike was purpose-built with a highly parallelized architecture to support real-time, data-driven applications that cost-effectively scale up and out. It claims to offer predictable sub-millisecond performance up to petabyte-scale with five-nines uptime with globally distributed, strongly consistent data.

It is commonly employed as a persistent cache and a user store to support data collection, distribution and analysis requirements for online business problems like adtech, e-commerce, online bidding, online gaming and online gambling. Customer include PayPal, Airtel, Adobe, Sony (Playstation), and Nokia.

Starburst is based on open-source Presto, a SQL query engine written in Java. Its distributed architecture was originally developed at Facebook back in 2013 to query data residing in Hadoop.

'We’re not necessarily replacing Snowflake or whatever'

Lenley Hensarling, Aerospike chief product officer, told The Register the point of the product was to give analysts a view on data it stores to help decide how to manage or analyze the real-time information.

“The visibility into what's there at the edge and into these real time transactional scores, is what we're enabling. There's a huge polyglot landscape of data and having a map to it, if you will, the ability to browse through it is what we're providing,” he said.

While developers might want to build tools to analyze the edge data held in Aerospike, it was more like they would be making decisions about where else they might move and analyze the data. “We’re not necessarily replacing Snowflake or whatever,” Hensarling said.

In a pre-canned quote, Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst of Constellation Research, said the tool offered the ability to open up more data for multiple enterprise audiences. “Innovators like Aerospike and Starburst are effectively democratizing data for enterprise SQL developers, data architects and BI analysts to achieve fast, efficient SQL queries at an unlimited scale,” he said.

Open-source Aerospike is available on Apache License Version 2.0 and Affero General Public License. The eponymous company also offers a paid-for enterprise edition.

Starburst is gaining traction as a way to join up disparate sources of enterprise data. For example, in late 2020, enterprise data warehouse stalwart Teradata announced an update to its QueryGrid.

Starburst Data is designed to integrate a Presto connector so that users of Teradata's Vantage analytics platform can access and query a range of cloud and on-premises data sources, including MongoDB, Databricks Delta Lake, columnar database Apache Cassandra, as well as cloud data warehouses Amazon Redshift and Google BigQuery.

In April, Aerospike added support for JSON documents to a slew of new features included in its Database 6 release. ®

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