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SenSage: A Company to Watch

I took a briefing yesterday with SenSage, a company I didn’t know. Consequently, I assumed SenSage was another startup pitching the latest, greatest technology, but I was wrong. Although SenSage is the newest entrant in the boisterous analytic database market, it is not a new company: it’s a tried and true player that offers an MPP-based columnar database that has hundreds of customers and strong partnerships with EMC, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, and McAfee.

So, why haven’t I heard about SenSage?

Six years ago, SenSage decided to apply its technology to a narrow market rather than offer a general purpose analytical engine. It chose the security and compliance market, packaging its high-performance database as a solution for meeting emerging “log management” requirements. New regulations, such as SOX and HIPAA, require organizations to store (i.e. archive) transactional log data to support compliance auditing, forensic investigation, and root cause analysis. By wrapping its database with customized ETL and reporting/analysis applications tailored to log management requirements, SenSage offers customers better performance, faster time to market, and lower cost than rivals, which include IBM, Teradata, and Oracle, which do not have dedicated log management solutions. Rather than archiving data to offline storage, SenSage makes the archived data available online so users can query and analyze the data in real-time.

So far, so good. But what makes SenSage think it can break through the noise in the current analytic database market?

SenSage’s differentiator is that it supports high-volume “event” data, which is why it calls its product the SenSage Event Data Warehouse. By events, SenSage means high volumes of source system transactions that it captures from log files or directly from the source applications. It has built a good business capturing systems log data for auditing and compliance purposes, but it also boasts several telecommunications companies that use the product to capture and analyze call detail records. Other potential event data that SenSage wants to target include point-of-sale data, RFID data, Web traffic, and email.

I still have a lot to learn about SenSage before I can make an accurate assessment about its capabilities and prospects. But they’ve got a track record, which is more than most analytic database vendors. So they’ve got my attention!

Posted by Wayne Eckerson on August 26, 2009


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