MapR's API-compatible implementation of Apache HBase, the NoSQL in-Hadoop database, is now available for free download and unlimited production use, MapR Technologies announced Wednesday.
"The big picture is having the marketplace understand Hadoop can go far beyond batch processes and support high-speed data sources, doing both high-scale data processing and analytics at the same time," MapR CMO Jack Norris told InformationWeek in a phone interview.
MapR-DB will now be included in the MapR Community Edition, which Norris said would be a boon to Hadoop developers and create an upgrade path to MapR's commercial products and services, such as data protection and 24/7 support. The Community Edition combines more than 20 different open source components; MapR-DB is integrated with the MapR NFS-compliant file system.
About 40% of MapR's 500 or so customers of the paid premium edition are using MapR-DB today, Norris said. MapR's paid license starts at around $4,000 per node.
Ron Rasmussen, CTO and senior vice president of engineering at Xactly, has had MapR's HBase implementation running in production since August, having first evaluated relational databases -- Xactly is an Oracle shop -- and other key-value stores like Couchbase.
[What else has MapR been up to? Read MapR Ships Drill For SQL Analysis Of Big Data.]
"We're using it to provide benchmarking services, letting customers see how their sales compensation lines up with other organizations," Rasmussen told InformationWeek in a phone interview.
Making its HBase implementation free for download will ramp up adoption and business for MapR, Rasmussen predicted.
"Tens of thousands of people will be able to try it without commitment," he said. The MapR implementation was superior to Apache HBase in his testing this year.
When asked how MapR-DB compares to HBase and other alternatives, MapR's Norris replied in a follow-up email:
"MapR-DB provides an enterprise alternative for HBase applications. By supporting the HBase API, HBase applications can run on MapR-DB. MapR-DB is also an alternative to other NoSQL solutions such as Cassandra and Couchbase by providing superior functionality, as evidenced by the top ranking it received in the recent Forrester Wave."
MapR-DB recently received from Forrester Research the highest score for current offerings among all reviewed vendors in The Forrester Wave: NoSQL Key-Value Databases, Q3 2014.
"When MapR-DB was only available in the paid version, it put an upper limit on adoption that restricted its uptake to only paying customers," Donnie Berkholz, a senior analyst with RedMonk, wrote in an email.
Datastores that dominate markets tend to be those that "optimize for broad distribution, such as MySQL or MongoDB," Berkholz wrote. "Including MapR-DB in the free edition will aid in growing its mindshare as a legitimate key-value store within and even beyond the current Hadoop user base."
Separately, MapR released the results of independent, third-party research by TechValidate about the return on investment (ROI) among MapR customers. The September survey, which compiled the results of 50 MapR customers, indicated a majority experienced payback in less than 12 months and greater than 5X returns on their investment.
"Respondents who previously used another distribution cited high availability, performance, data integration, data protection, and multi-tenancy as reasons for selecting MapR," MapR said in a statement.
Of those users with experience with other distributions, 65% had a 5X ROI, and 40% had a 10X return, the research found.
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