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Exploring the Actian Analytics Platform appliance

With the Actian Analytics Platform data warehouse appliance, both Hadoop and non-Hadoop clients can use their existing SQL applications and investments on new data sources.

The Actian Analytics Platform is an appliance designed to support high-speed data warehouse implementation and management. The platform combines relational and columnar database capabilities and includes features for data integration, data blending and enrichment, discovery analytics, and an easy-to-use data science workbench.

AAP is designed to provide high-performance, enterprise-grade SQL analytics at scale. It enables both non-Hadoop and Hadoop customers to use their existing SQL applications and investments on new data sources at volumes that are difficult for legacy systems to manage. Clients use AAP for customer management, risk management, competitive differentiation and new business analytic workloads.

The Actian Analytics Platform data warehouse appliance is used in midsize to large enterprises across all market verticals, but has a strong presence in financial services.

Actian Analytics Platform components

AAP's infrastructure comprises the following four core components:

Actian Dataflow, which enables elastic data preparation so customers can quickly bring all of their data together for ingestion and analysis using KNIME, the Konstanz Information Miner open source data analytics, reporting and integration user interface. Actian Dataflow also provides predictive analytics, which helps users uncover trends and patterns with parallelized Hadoop analytic operators -- also powered by KNIME.

Actian Vector, which is a fast, symmetric multiprocessing relational database system, designed for data analytics that runs on modern commodity hardware. Actian Vector takes advantage of many modern capabilities to drive performance, including single instruction multiple data, which enables a single operation to be applied to a set of data at once and utilize CPU cache as execution memory.

Actian Vector in Hadoop, which is a scaled out version of the Actian Vector designed to exploit the capabilities of Hadoop, offering high-performance updates of individual records and enterprise-grade security.

Actian Matrix, which is designed for complex analytics on large, diverse data sets. The scale-out architecture of Actian Matrix enables more data, more users, more analytics and linear scaling.

AAP provides enterprise security capabilities; including discretionary access control; role separation; flexible encryption approaches; security auditing; security alarms; and integration with enterprise authentication and authorization mechanisms, such as Kerberos, lightweight directory access protocol and Active Directory.

The platform also contains a Visual Science Workbench for building workflows for data integration, data blending and enrichment, and discovery analytics. It includes a management console for deploying, monitoring and managing the analytics enterprise data warehouse (EDW) environment.

The Actian Analytics Platform is supported on both Linux and Windows. Client connectivity from other popular Unix platforms is also provided. Although AAP isn't open source, Actian actively collaborates with the open source community on several projects.

Actian Analytics Platform licensing, pricing and support

AAP is available on premises or in the cloud. The on-premises version is available in a pure software or prepackaged appliance form. The product is also embedded by OEM partners and distributed as part of their solutions.

Actian and its partners offer the following ways to license the Actian Analytics Platform:

  • On-premises perpetual license.
  • In the cloud as data warehouse as a service at a monthly recurring fee.
  • As a prepackaged appliance.
  • As a right-to-deploy license that allows customers to purchase unlimited usage based on the application or geography in which the EDW is used.
  • As an infrastructure as a service cloud offering from partners such as Amazon, VMWare, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace (hybrid public and private).
  • OEM partners that offer bundled solutions (e.g., AIR Worldwide, FusionOps, EMC, among others).

Pricing for AAP is based on customer scalability requirements. Actian offers flexible pricing options that are optimized for the customer use case from the perspective of financial model (OPEX vs. CAPEX, perpetual vs. subscription), deployment model and usage scenarios.

Actian offers a free version of the product that doesn't expire and provides full functionality, but is limited to 500 GB of user data and five concurrent database connections.

Technical support is delivered using a 24/7 follow-the-sun model from eight worldwide locations. Actian offers various maintenance and support pricing options ranging from 18% to 22% of perpetual license costs -- subscription includes maintenance and support. Support packages include:

  • Silver Support Services provides global annual subscription business hours support.
  • Gold Support Services provides global annual subscription 24/7 support.
  • Platinum Support Services provides global annual subscription 24/7 support and assigned case management, configuration management, recurring project status calls or reports, and priority issue requests.
  • Managed Services provides annual subscription proactive performance management and optimization services and dedicated, on-site enterprise support services.
  • Consulting Services provides implementations, upgrades, development to performance tuning and project management.
  • Application Services provides design, development and migration of applications.
  • A free community-based support option.

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