Google has launched a hosted, ‘big data’ analytics service that lets businesses analyse large data sets in the cloud.
BigQuery, which been in beta development for one year, is based on Dremel, a scaleable data analysis tool built by Google itself. According to an academic paper written by Dremel’s authors, "it is capable of running aggregation queries over trillion-row tables in seconds." Google uses Dremel for analysing web documents, spam analysis and monitoring data centre performance.
However, BigQuery does not use MapReduce, the massively parallel processing platform that was also developed by Google and which is the basis for many big data analytics systems, including Hadoop.
BigQuery product manager Ju-kay Kwek wrote on Google’s blog that the framework could be used to analyse purchase patterns over millions of visits to an e-commerce website, or to evaluate the effectiveness of an advertising campaign which has billions of media impressions.
"Fortune 500 companies struggle to unlock the potential of data, so it’s no surprise that it’s been even harder for smaller businesses. We’re looking forward to helping businesses innovate faster by harnessing their own large data sets," wrote Kwek.
The service is free to use for the moment. Google says it will give customers 30 days’ notice before it starts charge. Information about how the service will be priced is "coming soon", the company says.
Yesterday, Google also announced improved mobile device management tools for users of its hosted applications, allowing administrators to see all mobile devices that are syncing with Google’s services.
"It’s commonplace for employees to bring personal mobile devices to work, expecting to get all kinds of business done on-the-go, and this can be both a blessing and a challenge to IT managers," wrote Google software engineer Hong Zhang. "The importance of keeping mobile devices and data secure is as essential as ever."