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Google BigQuery joins Big Data analysis contingent

Big Data crunchers are all the rage at the moment, and now one more, Google's BigQuery has surfaced to try and make sense of the Big Data you've amassed. After a period of limited availability testing, Google have given the green light to BigQuery - their SaaS aiming to make Big Data querying cheaper, faster and simpler.

In a nutshell, Big Query is a web service that lets you do real-time interactive analysis of mammoth datasets, with SQL-like queries — we're talking billions of rows here. Hugely scalable and easy to use, BigQuery could well entice enterprises who previously were unwilling to shell out for other options, as the service is being offered at a low cost.

Google certainly appear to be going all guns blazing here, with BigQuery's Product Manager Ju-kay Kwek stating that they want 'to bring Big Data analytics to all businesses via the cloud.' 

This move could (emphasis on could) undercut other Big Data options massively. BigQuery is a different breed to software options like Hadoop and companies like Cloudera (both fundamentally open source) or on-premise choices. This seems like an initiative to bring smaller enterprises to the dance, those who don't have the investment for the more advanced analytics software options out there.

As Kwek tells VentureBeat

On-premise options like Netezza and Vertica are fast and powerful, but they will cost you...And with Hadoop, you need more heads and you have to build out a custom Hadoop system.

He also made the claim that during testing, BigQuery crunched a client's dataset 10 times faster than a Hadoop cluster. Whilst there's no empirical evidence to back that up, it might well be true given Google's compute power. It is an all-consuming beast.

Kwek writes in the official annnouncement:

BigQuery is accessible via a simple UI or REST interface. It lets you take advantage of Google’s massive compute power, store as much data as needed and pay only for what you use. Your data is protected with multiple layers of security, replicated across multiple data centers and can be easily exported.

Although it was free in testing, Google have announced a pricing plan now it's gone big time - and it's fair to say it's very, very reasonable.

With this release, Google could just have sent a warning shot to other analytics players, by bolstering their cloud arsenal. But it'll take some pushing to shift the likes of Amazon and IBM in this Cloud enterprise battle. Whether it will attract the critical data enterprises also remains to be seen...

It's come a long way since been unveiled at Google I/O 2010 though.

Chris Mayer

What do you think?

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