Cloud computing is going mainstream. After the first wave of startups, we see more and more big enterprises adopting the cloud. Wall Street for example is using the cloud this way:
When Claude Courbois, associate VP, product development, Nasdaq Data Products, created a new product called Market Replay that enables brokerage firms to show customers and regulators that best-execution requirements were met for a given trade (...), he looked into buying a database to support the product. "Naturally database solutions are the first things people look at, because they're a safe solution," Courbois notes. The price for a dedicated database, however, was prohibitive, forcing him to put the project on hold for several months. Then Courbois realized that if the process work could all be handled on the client side, Nasdaq could use a simple data storage product such as Amazon Web Services' S3 storage cloud.
Actually, we thought exactly the same way about Bime. We first thought that we should store our customer's data to provide a complete SAAS business intelligence solution. Quickly, we came to the fact that it would be very expensive and painful to manage the database side. Instead, if we could efficiently handle the data aggregation on the client side and use the various cloud storage offered by big players, we would have a very manageable and lean solution. Consequently, we focused on creating an high performance in memory Olap Engine instead of building a database infrastructure.
Thanks to this strategy, we have now a very "connected" business intelligence solution: we support major cloud databases out there and we builded a desktop application to gain access to traditional RDMS. Best of both world while never storing the data.