MySQL variant MariaDB is aiming for the OLAP market with the public release of its latest feature, .

The move is part of MariaDB’s mission to broaden its reach and offer a cheaper alternative to analytics databases like Teradata or Vertica. But the company faces stiff open source competition.

Doing more with less

Originally , ColumnStore isn’t a new project; it’s a port of the existing that used the MySQL engine. After the company that produced InfiniDB in 2015, MariaDB took over the project, continued supporting its existing customer base, and realized that InfiniDB’s column-oriented technology could add OLAP capabilities to the traditionally OLTP-oriented MySQL. (Column-stored data allows for .)

MariaDB there are multiple advantages to blending the two approaches. One is being able to perform queries that mix both columnar InfiniDB data and row-based MariaDB data — for instance, being able to create SQL JOINs across both kinds of data. Another is having a native SQL querying layer for an OLAP solution, which many OLAP products have been  with .

involving the World Bank’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation mostly cites earlier versions of MySQL (due to existing infrastructure) and the in-memory database as the other choices considered, rather than any of the more commercial data-warehousing solutions.

Not the only game in town

Late 2015 saw a major open source competitor to conventional data warehouses or OLAP analytics solutions emerge: , the data warehouse solution open-sourced by Pivotal.

In a way, Greenplum vs. ColumnStore amounts to a clash between two long-standing open source database projects. With ColumnStore, it’s MySQL/MariaDB; with Greenplum, it’s PostgreSQL, since Greenplum is derived from that project.

That said, the two have evolved far past their roots; the competition between them is less about what underlying technology they use and more about how large an existing audience each of them is likely to capture.

that are both increasingly cost-effective and ANSI SQL-compliant.