My name is Jim Knicely. For most of my early career I was an Oracle DBA and developer. I was introduced to Vertica in May of 2011 when I accepted a new position in Pittsburgh, PA. I was naturally biased toward Oracle's data warehouse solutions, so at first, I was reluctant to even consider an alternative. However, after experiencing firsthand the “Vertica Advantage," which the marketing jargon labeled it back then, I became a Vertica convert and migrated to the dark side to the bewilderment of my Oracle DBA colleagues!
So what was it that had me that enamored with this new technology? Let me explain. My first task at this new company was to migrate data from an underperforming database to Vertica. At the time, Vertica hadn’t been fully vetted and as only still being tested, we were all venturing into new territory. Luckily, the actual data migration was relatively simple, but what came next on the journey was surprisingly difficult. To everyone’s astonishment, queries in Vertica that previously ran for hours (several > 24 hours) now completed in seconds, and data loads that also took hours now finished in seconds! This was exceptional news! The only problem was no one believed that Vertica was functioning correctly and that the results had to be inaccurate.
For the next few weeks, my job became to prove that Vertica was truly performing those “query miracles," a phrase we coined, and that the results produced by Vertica matched the previous databases’ results exactly. Long story short, I was able to show the accuracy of Vertica’s results. But the true reward was to see the eyes light up of folks like report writers and developers who had been hindered for years by the performance of the old system. Vertica wowed both management and me. I was hooked.
When I started that job back in 2011, the first thing I did was a Google search on Vertica. I was amazed to find that there were no Vertica forums or user sites out there! So in January of 2012, I started my own:
Today, the Vertica Community has grown exponentially and I am happy to take part.