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        Matt Aslett's Analyst Perspectives

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        Aerospike Has a Data Platform for Real-Time Intelligent Applications

        Earlier this year I described the growing use-cases for hybrid data processing. Although it is anticipated that the majority of database workloads will continue to be served by specialist data platforms targeting operational and analytic workloads respectively, there is increased demand for intelligent operational applications infused with the results of analytic processes, such as personalization and artificial intelligence-driven recommendations. There are multiple data platform approaches to delivering real-time data processing and analytics, including the use of streaming data and event processing and specialist, real-time analytic data platforms. We also see operational data platform providers, such as Aerospike, adding analytic processing capabilities to support these application requirements via hybrid operational and analytic processing.

        Aerospike was founded in 2009 and was one of the early providers of NoSQL databases. The company’s Aerospike Database began life as a key-value data store and has been adopted for use-cases requiring high-performance real-time read-write capabilities, initially in the advertising sector. Aerospike Database remains at the heart of the company’s strategy but has evolved considerably with the addition of native document data processing functionality. It is now positioned as part of the larger Aerospike Real-time Data Platform, with additional functionality for stream processing connectivity and SQL-based analytics as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. The expansion of the Aerospike functionality has been funded by venture capital backers including Triangle Peak Partners, NewView Capital Partners, Alsop Louie Partners and Eastward Capital Partners, which most recently provided the company with $32 million in series D funding in late 2019.

        VR_2022_Operational_Data_Platforms_Assertion_4_Square (2)I assert that through 2026, operational data platform providers will continue to invest in hybrid operational and analytic processing capabilities to support growing demand for intelligent operational applications infused with personalization and AI-driven recommendations. These characteristics are central to the use-cases for Aerospike Real-time Data Platform, including customer 360, personalization, fraud detection and prevention and internet of things. Target industries include advertising and marketing, payments and ecommerce, banking and finance, gaming and telecommunications. Aerospike customers include applications provider Adobe, video game and digital entertainment company Sony Interactive Entertainment, digital marketing provider The Trade Desk, mobile network provider Airtel, fantasy sports provider Dream11 and online payments provider PayPal. Aerospike Real-time Data Platform is available as Aerospike Cloud Managed Service on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, and also available for self-managed deployment on AWS as well as for on-premises private cloud deployment on Kubernetes.

        Real-time data processing has historically been something of a niche requirement but is becoming important for a growing number of organizations and use cases. Almost one-quarter of participants (22%) in Ventana Research’s Analytics and Data Benchmark Research are currently analyzing data in real time, with an additional 10% analyzing data every hour. Those percentages can be expected to grow as organizations invest in the development of operational applications infused with personalization and recommendations that rely on analytic processes performed in real-time.

        Analytics and Data_Frequency of Data Analysis  (3)-pngApplications that benefit from hybrid operational and analytic data processing include fraud detection/prevention in credit approval processes, predictive maintenance and anomaly detection in manufacturing/IoT and supply chain planning and forecasting in retail/logistics. Aerospike’s ability to support these workloads is based on Aerospike Database’s hybrid memory architecture, with which the index stored in DRAM memory and data is persisted to and read directly from flash storage. This is designed to deliver predictable performance by eliminating any impact on disk I/O from accessing the index.

        For use-cases involving very large numbers of very small objects, Aerospike Database can also be configured to store the index in flash storage to reduce cost (albeit with increased latency compared to the hybrid memory approach). With version 6.0 of Aerospike Database, launched in April 2022, the company added native support for JSON document models to support the storage and processing of richer and more varied data sets. Aerospike also confirmed plans to add support for further data models, including graph and time series, in future releases. Aerospike Database 6.0 also added massively parallel secondary indexes with support for large-scale SQL queries via connectors to the Apache Spark, Presto and Trino projects. That was followed in June by the launch of Aerospike SQL Powered by Starburst, which added integrated SQL processing to the Aerospike Real-time Data Platform, courtesy of Starburst’s distributed SQL query engine based on Trino.

        In addition to Aerospike Database and Aerospike SQL, the Aerospike Real-time Data Platform also includes the Aerospike Connect suite of connectors for streaming data including Apache Kafka, Apache Pulsar and Java Message Service, SQL-based analytics via Apache Spark and Presto/Trino, and artificial intelligence and machine learning via Apache Spark. To drive increased adoption, the company has also recently enhanced its Developer Hub, which provides developers with a code sandbox that can be used to experiment with Aerospike Database 6.0, along with interactive tutorials, sample code and training.

        Aerospike may not be the first company many people think of when considering their options for NoSQL databases, but the company has established a strong portfolio of customers and use cases for high-performance read/write workloads, and has expanded beyond its initial success in marketing and advertising. The addition of support for JSON document models expands the addressable use cases further, while Aerospike SQL and Aerospike Connect add further SQL analytics and connectivity capabilities to the Aerospike Real-time Data Platform. As such, I recommend that organizations exploring options for NoSQL database workloads in general — and hybrid data processing capabilities to support real-time intelligent operational applications in particular — should include Aerospike in the evaluations.


        Matt Aslett


        Matt Aslett
        Director of Research, Analytics and Data

        Matt Aslett leads the software research and advisory for Analytics and Data at Ventana Research, now part of ISG, covering software that improves the utilization and value of information. His focus areas of expertise and market coverage include analytics, data intelligence, data operations, data platforms, and streaming and events.


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