InfiniDB going out of business, but its database will live on as open source

InfiniDB explored "all possible investment options" before calling it a day, CEO says

Increasingly stiff competition in the database market has claimed another victim, as InfiniDB has ceased operations effective immediately with plans to file for bankruptcy.

"The company and technology have developed over the past several years and there have been numerous technology achievements and business success stories with our customers," InfiniDB CEO Bob Wilkinson said in a statement issued Friday. "But as a startup on the leading edge of technology, business can be challenging especially as differentiation in the market is murkier and competition from bigger entities increases."

Although InfiniDB's leadership spent some months "exploring all possible investment options that could take the company forward," the effort was fruitless, Wilkinson said.

"InfiniDB has worked closely with our partners to alert them of this change," he added. "Our goal is to make this a smooth transition where they can continue to leverage their solutions built with the InfiniDB platform."

The InfiniDB database, which uses a columnar store and MPP (massively parallel processing) for high-speed analytic workloads, is available in an open-source version hosted on GitHub. However, community pages InfiniDB had hosted "will no longer be active or supported," Wilkinson said.

There is one potential silver lining for InfiniDB customers, in that SkySQL is poised to offer support services for the platform, according to the statement.

Formerly known as Calpont, InfiniDB "went through multiple technical strategies," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. "Indeed, they started out as a SQL-on-a-chip company."

However, "there's a huge difference between having some good ideas for a DBMS product and having a product that is sufficiently mature and flexible to be competitive," Monash said.

Open-source software projects often thrive or fade away depending upon the amount of corporate backing they receive.

The chance of another vendor becoming a major InfiniDB project sponsor and building a commercial open source business around it is "not impossible, but unlikely," Monash said. "In more or less its current form, it doesn't have a great functionality-maturity trade-off."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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