Ingres launches open-source BI appliance

Wipro and Satyam to integrate new product

Ingres has released the Icebreaker BI Appliance, a package of software that integrates JasperSoft’s open-source business intelligence suite with the Ingres 2006 database running on Rpath Linux.

That configuration could handle a file system of up to 2TB, making it suitable for small businesses or for larger ones using it as a departmental server, says Deb Woods, Ingres’ vice president of product management.

Ingres already uses the Icebreaker name for a combination of its database and Rpath Linux. Rpath offers a stable Linux distribution and a tool, rBuilder, for packaging applications with it as installable ISO disc images.

Although the Icebreaker BI Appliance package includes no hardware, Ingres calls it an appliance because all the components of the software stack are tightly integrated and because the company supports all the software itself.

Ingres has trained staff to handle first- and second-line support, and plans to liaise with JasperSoft if more complex issues arise, Woods says. Clients will deal only with Ingres, she says.

The company supports its products, in English only for now, from centres in Australia, the UK and the US. Staff in France and Germany can deal with questions in the local language, but the software itself has not been localised, she says.

By offering the software as a disc image rather bundling it with hardware, Ingres allows customers to save space in their datacentres by running it in a virtualisation environment on a larger server, Woods says. “You can partition the box and have a lot more flexibility. If you had a box with four or eight sockets, you would only have to pay for the sockets you ran it on,” she says.

Customer demand could change that strategy. “We are ready if they want to purchase it with hardware,” she says. The company has tested it on hardware from IBM, HP, Dell and Sun Microsystems.

There are no plans to provide an appliance based on Solaris, Woods says, as there is no equivalent of Rpath’s rBuilder tool for that platform.

The company has tested the appliance with systems integrators including Wipro, which announced in March that it was setting up a team of developers to work with Ingres. Wipro now uses the software stack to power an outsourced performance management service for its customers.

Satyam also offers to install the appliance for customers looking for a low-cost BI system, Ingres says.

Ingres had planned to announce Icebreaker BI Appliance in July, but decided to hold on until partners like Wipro and Satyam were ready to offer services and applications built on top of it, Woods says.

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