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Splice Machine releases dual-engine RDBMS to open source

Thor Olavsrud | June 16, 2016
The startup hopes to dramatically increase adoption of its dual-engine relational database management system, powered by Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, by making the technology open source.

"The evolution of Splice Machine from being the first transactional RDBMS on Hadoop, to incorporating Apache Spark as an analytical engine, has been amazing to watch as a member of their Advisory Board," Mike Franklin, former Chair of the School of Computer Science at UC Berkeley and incoming Chair of Computer Science at the University of Chicago, said in a statement last week. "Our AmpLab at Berkeley has initiated many open source projects, including Apache Spark, Apache Mesos and Alluxio (formerly Tachyon). I applaud Splice Machine in taking the leap and joining the open source community."

Of course, releasing a technology to open source is one thing, building a successful community around it is another.

"There is no doubt that the developer community does not come automatically," Zweben says. "We're under no illusions about that. I'm pivoting the majority of our marketing spend on not generating leads in terms of enterprises but actually building out an entire community infrastructure."

That will include investing in evangelists, a community site, Slack and IRC channels, best practices and more.

"We're so excited to build this community around us," he says. "Hopefully it will deliver the only cost-effective dual-workload database that can handle the analytical and transactional needs of modern applications."

Splice Machine is releasing its technology on its own GitHub, and is "90 percent of the way" to applying to the Apache Software Foundation's Apache Incubator for the project.

"We put out a call last week for mentors and champions," Zweben says. "We've had a healthy response to that from the Apache community."

Splice Machine plans to offer its RDBMS in a free, full-featured Community Edition and a licensed Enterprise Edition. The Enterprise Edition license will include support and features focused on operations. These won't be features required to use a database, Zweben hastens to add. They'll be features useful to running an RDBMS 24/7, governance and tuning it: backup and restore, authentication, security.

"The support model, I think, is less successful in the marketplace," Zweben says. "It seems as if the best way to build an open source company, having spoken to many different CEOs, bankers and venture capitalists, is actual to create a free community edition and an enterprise edition."


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