9. Vertica Systems
Founded: March 2005
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.
What does the company offer? A database management system that runs on Linux-based hardware. The product, expected to be released in the second half of this year, is described by Vertica as a "grid-enabled, column-oriented relational database management system" that handles data warehousing, business intelligence, fraud detection and other applications in networks with hundreds of terabytes of data. Vertica founders say their system will return query results 10 to 100 times faster than current products. Databases built with a row-oriented architecture are optimized to write data into systems quickly and reliably, they say. Vertica's database system, on the other hand, stores content by column rather than by row, and represents data in the format in which it is meant to be viewed, as opposed to the way it was written into the system, according to Vertica.
Why is it worth watching? Vertica was co-founded by Michael Stonebraker, the main architect of the Ingres and Postgres database management systems. Ray Lane, Oracle's ex-president and COO, is a special adviser to Vertica, and former Oracle senior vice president Jerry Held is Vertica's chairman.
How did the company get its start? Stonebraker and fellow co-founder Andrew Palmer, Vertica's CEO, wanted to make data more accessible to enterprise employees. "We believe that more people in the enterprise need access to more data than ever before. Their expectations in terms of the speed of that access are going up rapidly," Palmer says.
How did the company get its name? The name Vertica represents the company's column-oriented approach to database management.
CEO and background: Before Vertica, Palmer co-founded Infinity Pharmaceuticals in Boston and was senior vice president of operations as the company raised more than US$140 million in financing and grew to more than 100 employees.
Who's using the product? Ten early adopters, including HP and Red Hat.