November 2, 2009 – With an increasing number of companies moving toward massive parallel processing, Aster Data announced an MPP data application server today that includes highly parallelized data processing and execution.

Aster Data 4.0 fully embeds applications inside a massively scalable data warehouse, allowing users to store, analyze and speed the processing of petabytes of data, according to the company release.

Rather than separating data from applications, 4.0 combines them in one system made up of two separate and full architectures, said Sharmila Mulligan, executive vice president for Aster Data. The architecture executes data and applications processes equally with their respective management services.

“You want to treat both the database and the application as first class citizens,” said Tasso Argyros, CTO and Co-founder of Aster Data. “What makes it unique is that the application runs completely decoupled from the database.”

The separation of data management and application processing provides high application portability so applications can be pushed down into the system, said Argyos. The Data-Application Server is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and sharing of resources in the cluster, while it acts as a host for the application processing and data that is managed inside the cluster as well.

“This is a big announcement because it’s an innovative approach to doing data warehousing. It’s also an innovative new approach to implementing an application server,” said Jim Kobielus, senior analyst for data warehousing at Forrester Research. “It [Aster Data 4.0] really converges two market segments in a powerful new approach.”

Aster Data is not the only company combining a database with massively parallel architecture however. Oracle released Exadata Version 2 in September, a combination of Sun and Oracle technology in database machine that runs OLTP applications.

Oracle’s application is similar, according to Kobielus, but Aster Data is breaking new ground with its variety of application management functionality. “They’ve got a bit of a jump on Oracle, with a more feature rich and robust product,” he said. “Oracle doesn’t provide the isolation that can isolate the application code from the data codes.”

That said, Kobielus emphasizes that Aster Data is a small company operating on venture capital, despite substantial partnerships and customer wins, and that it will need to price the new product strategically. “They have to keep their pricing with in range of where the market is going, which is lower and lower in and extremely price conscious market,” he said.

Tune into this episode of DM Radio to learn the range of database innovations and how they can impact your organization. The hosts talk to database visionary Dr. Michael Stonebreaker, plus Shawn Kung of Aster Data, Boris Evelson of Forrester Research and Bernie Spang of IBM. Learn how a columnar approach facilitates analytics; ways in which architectural choices can enhance scalability; whether solid-state drives are ready to rumble; and why in-memory technology can make a big difference.

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