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Aiven launches managed ClickHouse database as a service

The open source database cloud services vendor continues to expand the number of technologies it supports, adding new analytics capabilities in a managed offering.

Cloud database-as-a-service vendor Aiven on Tuesday expanded its roster of generally available services with the addition of the managed ClickHouse analytics database platform.

The well-funded vendor provides cloud DBaaS services for a growing list of open source data technologies, including Kafka, Cassandra, PostgreSQL and Redis.

In September, Aiven introduced the initial beta version of its managed open source ClickHouse analytics database with limited capabilities for small applications. With the general availability, Aiven has now opened up the ClickHouse service to all its users, with multinode support.

Russia-based search vendor Yandex originally created the ClickHouse database in 2016.

In addition to the open source ClickHouse online analytical processing database project, a commercial entity known as ClickHouse Inc. provides commercial services. Aiven is not affiliated with ClickHouse Inc., but rather is providing a DBaaS for the open source technology with the same basic approach it uses for other open source databases.

Aiven competes against multiple vendors in the cloud DBaaS market, including AWS, Google, Microsoft and Instaclustr. A challenge for all cloud DBaaS vendors is providing integration across disparate data services that enables users to easily move data from one technology to another.

Among the users of Aiven's ClickHouse service is virtual assistant vendor Chatlayer, a business unit of cloud platform-as-a-service vendor Sinch, based in Stockholm.

We use ClickHouse to provide our online analytics functionality. These analytics are customer-facing, so users of our platform can see and understand the behavior of their bots and track their custom KPIs.
Miguel CarvajalTechnical lead, Sinch

Miguel Carvajal, technical lead at Sinch, said Chatlayer had already been using Aiven's services for Kafka and PostgreSQL and was looking for analytics database capabilities. Data generated by Chatlayer's virtual assistant engine is sent to Aiven's Kafka.

"We use ClickHouse to provide our online analytics functionality," Carvajal said. "These analytics are customer-facing, so users of our platform can see and understand the behavior of their bots and track their custom KPIs."

Why Aiven is supporting the ClickHouse database

Aiven's goal is to enable enterprises to use open source data technologies, said Heikki Nousiainen, CTO at Aiven.

"We want to make open source available and adaptable to business users," Nousiainen said. "But without them needing the expertise to set up and run and operate on their own."

Nousiainen said Aiven's customers had been asking for an analytics capability, and that led his team to build out support for ClickHouse. He noted that ClickHouse uses a SQL interface that integrates well with other technologies Aiven supports.

For example, ClickHouse can be used alongside PostgreSQL to enable analytics queries on top of transactional data. How that works is data from Aiven's PostgreSQL service can be streamed with change data capture in ClickHouse for analysis. Organizations can also choose to use ClickHouse to directly query transaction data stored in a PostgreSQL database.

Aiven for ClickHouse part of effort to grow complete data platform

Aiven for ClickHouse database supports a number of different applications for analytics.

ClickHouse's roots are as an analytics engine for a web search portal, and the technology is suited today for web analytics on site traffic and usage, Nousiainen said. Now that ClickHouse is generally available, he hopes Aiven's internal teams will use it to help the company execute analytics on its own web traffic and operations.

While in beta, Aiven for ClickHouse only offered individual instances, which were limited in size. With the general availability, those restrictions have been lifted, and organizations can run larger clusters to support operational workloads.

Nousiainen said Aiven in 2023 will continue to extend the portfolio of technologies it supports and provide users with more integration opportunities.

"Now that we have more of these building blocks, we want to make it easier for our customers and developers to utilize these things in combination," he said.

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