Greenplum pushes self-service data warehousing

Greenplum has rolled out an ‘Enterprise Data Cloud’ initiative, pushing "self-service" data warehousing.

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Greenplum has rolled out an ‘Enterprise Data Cloud’ initiative, pushing the idea of "self-service" data warehousing.

Traditional enterprise data-warehousing practices, where a company tries to gain "a single version of the truth" by combining various data sources into a single store, has proven too clunky and slow for modern businesses, said the data warehousing supplier’s president, Scott Yara.

The company's EDC approach will instead see companies use a general pool of underlying infrastructure -- be it an in-house physical server farm, virtualised machines or public clouds like Amazon Web Services -- to create and manage a range of data warehouses and data marts, Yara said.

In fact, only 10 percent or 20 percent of a company's data is actually stored in the main enterprise data warehouse, Yara said. "There's always an explosion of marts in the shadow of the EDW," he said. "You have legitimate needs for hundreds and thousands of databases for departmental work."

But these "shadow data marts" should be viewed as a powerful tool for businesses, not something that goes against data-governance and management policies, he said.

Greenplum plans to build out a software stack that includes a Web-based front end with which database administrators can easily spool up new data marts, users can search for data, and system managers can set policies and manage users.

Customers would continue plugging in third-party BI (business intelligence), data mining and other tools.

Greenplum's plans also include a middle tier of platform services for handling tasks like identity management, disaster recovery, policy enforcement, storage management and performance diagnostics.