A buyer's guide to selecting the best data warehouse product
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
IBM dashDB is a managed cloud data warehousing service that developers, database administrators, business analysts, data scientists and others can use to build new solutions, architectures and applications. This cloud data warehouse as a service is designed to enable the delivery of rapid business intelligence and analytics, despite the limitations of an organization's existing infrastructure.
IBM dashDB is available online through IBM's Bluemix platform, which is the company's open cloud architecture based on the Cloud Foundry project. After logging into Bluemix, customers can begin using dashDB by provisioning their own instance -- free, multi-tenant -- or by purchasing an enterprise plan.
IBM dashDB features and highlights
Since IBM dashDB is a fully managed service, database administrators don't need to perform many of the processes needed for on-premises database implementation, such as managing instances and installing patches.
The service includes DB2 with BLU Acceleration, which provides in-memory capabilities, columnar data, single instruction multiple data processing and data skipping. In addition to significantly shrinking data, BLU active compression also enables the database management system to perform joins, sorts and predicate evaluation while data is still compressed.
Another core feature is in-database analytics provided by Netezza technology. This lets users analyze warehouse data using R and other built-in IBM Netezza Analytics (INZA) functions.
IBM dashDB provides enterprise quality security, including automatic encryption for data at rest and in transit, database activity monitoring via IBM InfoSphere Guardium, advanced database access control, and deployment hardening.
Since dashDB is in the cloud, the operating system and instance are all hosted and managed by IBM. Every four weeks, new functionality is added, but there's no version number or release associated with these updates that's externalized. IBM handles the code and does the updates behind the scenes, so users are always at the current release.
DashDB licensing, pricing and support
The IBM dashDB data warehousing service offers multi-tenant plans (i.e., the client will have one schema within a shared database) that can be purchased online via credit card. A wide range of pricing options are available. The service is free as long as the amount of data to be stored is less than 1 GB. For more than 1 GB, there are five plans available from IBM -- one entry-level and four enterprise-level.
Entry level offers up to 20 GB of storage area network capacity in a multi-tenant environment and is billed at a flat rate of $50 per month. Customers can choose to use dashDB for significant, enterprise-scale cloud data warehouse development using one of the four dedicated, single-tenant enterprise plans:
- Enterprise 1 TB, which provides a virtual environment with 16 cores, 64 GB memory and up to 1 TB of data (preload) for $1,140 per month.
- Enterprise 4 TB, which offers a bare metal environment with 32 cores, 256 GB memory and up to 4 TB of data (preload) for $4,560 per month.
- Enterprise 12 TB, which includes a bare metal environment with 32 cores, 256 GB memory and up to 12 TB of data (preload) for $7,160 per month.
- Enterprise MPP, which provides a three- to five-node cluster (bare metal), each with 24 cores per node and 256 GB of memory per node. Storage is a solid-state drive for up to 4 terabytes of data (preload) per node. The price is $5,250 per month per node.
A community forum support is provided for the free version, and customers of the above plans receive full support with their monthly service at no additional charge. All severity-one issues are supported 24/7 by IBM.
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Craig S. Mullins asks:
What features does your organization look for in a cloud data warehouse?
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