VLDB 2013 Round Up


It's that time of year again between Xmas and New Year when thoughts turn to what Q1 has in store.

Afore we turn to that, let's have a look back at 2013.

VLDB Digital

Here at VLDB HQ we made a decision at this time last year to move from promoting PPC optimisation software to offer full service digital marketing via VLDB Digital.

This was largely driven by customer demand to cover PPC, display, Facebook and more. It also meant we had to staff up quite quickly. Never ones to shirk such a challenge, the transition from promoting and supporting software to manage PPC to a full digital marketing service was very smooth - a real credit to team VLDB Digital. #talentedyoungstersIn the important retail 'golden quarter' leading up to Xmas we've driven a 12x ROAS for one of our retail clients. That's 1 pound in and 12 pounds out. What's not to like ;-)

Big Data

Despite the fact that most folks still can't tell you what it is, we've seen a tidal wave of interest in 'Big Data' during 2013.The Hadoop distributors Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR are now fully established over here in the UK. It feels like there's a real movement beyond the big name internet companies (Google, Yahoo, Facebook et al) and the early adopters to a more mainstream interest in Big Data. We're even talking to health care professionals we know about Big Data. Whatever next?

During the last 6 months we've been engaged on a Big Data POC project at a retail bank. Now that's mainstream!


Teradata Cloud was announced during the annual Teradata Partners 2013 love-in - the same event where our very own Mrs Agnew came away with a shiny new camera after winning the prize draw. Go Mrs A!!!

On the face of it, Teradata Cloud looks like a smart move for both end users and Teradata. What we'd *really* like to see, however, is a true public cloud offering from Teradata. Here's hoping.


We're big fans, no *very* big fans of MPP databases. First there was Teradata, then Netezza, then along came Greenplum. We've always liked the Greenplum 'roll your own' (RYO) approach to MPP deployment. Choosing the server and storage hardware, OS, file system and configuration is very refreshing, if you're brave enough to design and RYO.

Anyway, after being bought by EMC a few years ago things went a bit quiet on the Greenplum front. Then along came the Big Data/Hadoop bandwagon.

Earlier this year it became a bit clearer. Greenplum was spun out of EMC along with other goodies into a new company called Pivotal. They have a strong 'SQL on HDFS' play, which we think is very smart.RainStor Big Data ArchivalThings really moved along well during 2013 for VLDB and RainStor. Our trip to the RainStor HQ in downtown San Francisco early in the year was marred only by the end of the ski season at Lake Tahoe. Ho hum.

This year saw the formal launch of RainStor's complimentary Teradata offerings. Where have we seen stuff like this before I wonder?

Interestingly, this plays nicely with a common theme we've encountered with a lot of Big Data POC engagements: enterprise data warehouse (EDW) cost avoidance/reduction.

There's no doubt that this is part of an ongoing 'EDW squeeze' as discussed by Rob Klopp.

Tech That Died in 2013

Did you know that WinAmp and AltaVista died in 2013. For those of us old enough to remember being online in the 1990's that's a bit of a shock.That's enough rambling for now.

Hope you've had a great 2013.See you all on the other side in 2014 :-)