Turning Pages of 2021

2021 was so far the best year for Altinity and ClickHouse. Sitting with a glass of wine in front of the fire and overlooking the Christmas tree or a snowstorm behind the icy window, let’s remember what has happened.

ClickHouse.com

It is fair to say that ClickHouse.com has made the news this year. The new, well-funded company makes the ClickHouse story much stronger. Altinity is proud to be a part of this story. We believe in ClickHouse’s even greater success, and continue to cooperate with the ClickHouse development team in order to make it happen.

Knowledge Base and Education

The important part of the ClickHouse story is to tell users how to use ClickHouse in the most efficient way. The Altinity support team does a fantastic job answering questions at community Telegram and Slack channels as well as helping out clients. Quite often different users face similar challenges. In order to make it easier, our support team launched a Knowledge Base that continues to grow with ClickHouse tips and tricks. Save the link if you do not have it already.

Somewhat geeky Knowledge Base is complemented by the Altinity Documentation Site, which contains more detailed guides for ClickHouse at Kubernetes, operations and others. We try to provide everything that users need to build applications on ClickHouse. 

We also introduced regular ClickHouse 101 online training. Well over 200 students completed Altinity courses this year, and the demand is increasing.

ClickHouse Server Development

Altinity is one of the major contributors to ClickHouse core projects. In 2021 we slowed down a bit, but still there is a lot to be proud of. Contributions are easy to track using publicly available github dataset at Altinity.Cloud (use https://github.demo.altinity.cloud:8443/play and demo/demo as credentials if you want to try that):

SELECT sum(merged), uniq(creator_user_login) committers
 FROM github_events 
WHERE merged_at>='2021-01-01' and event_type = 'PullRequestEvent'
  AND (has(labels, 'altinity') OR 
       creator_user_login IN ('Enmk', 'traceon', 'excitoon', 'Slach', 'f1yegor') AND repo_name ilike 'ClickHouse%')


┌─sum(merged)─┬─committers─┐
│         106 │         10 │
└─────────────┴────────────┘

In total Altinity contributed with more than 100 pull requests to core ClickHouse projects; our contributions were mostly focused on security and performance features, as well as S3 compatibility.

ClickHouse itself progressed a lot this year. It is impossible even to enumerate the most significant features introduced in 2021! My personal favourites are Window Functions and Projections, but there were many more. 

Open Source Projects

In addition to core ClickHouse projects, Altinity continues to contribute to a number of important ClickHouse ecosystem projects. The most notable ones are:

This year we have added a few more to our open source portfolio:

We believe that open source is the right model to drive innovation – both to develop technology as well as to share it with users.

Altinity Stable Builds

For years we have recommended stable releases of ClickHouse. This year we started to build them as well, and introduced Altinity Stable builds to the public. ClickHouse evolves very quickly with dozens of active contributors and hundreds pull requests in every release. The core development team does a fantastic job to manage this pressure and maintain the project in a healthy state. But production users are conservative users. This is why we have Altinity Stable builds – extra tested, built in a secure environment, and maintained for 3 years.

We have also worked on Mac builds and ARM. Mac users, did you know that you can install ClickHouse in 2 minutes now?! That includes M1 Apple silicon. If you don’t – check out https://github.com/Altinity/homebrew-clickhouse. It’s a secret but not for long. We’ll publish more about it shortly.

Altinity.Cloud

Altinity.Cloud is our most beloved child. The first prototype of Altinity Cloud Manager was developed back in 2018, but it was not until November 2020 that we opened up the AWS cloud infrastructure and onboarded our first production customers at Altinity.Cloud. Since then 200 companies have tried our cloud services in different AWS regions all over the world. Many of them have become happy customers. In 2021 Altinity.Cloud revenues grew over 25 times, showing a steady month-by-month growth. 

Exactly one year after the production launch in AWS, we added GCP support in October 2021. Needless to say it is absolutely transparent for users. We manage ClickHouse where it is convenient for them.

OSA Con and Meetups

Analytic applications require multiple technologies, not just ClickHouse. Promoting synergies across open source analytic projects is a special interest at Altinity. We’re proud to have done exactly that at OSA Con, our new conference devoted to open source analytics. 

We give thanks to a multitude of excellent presenters including Peter Zaitsev, Andy Pavlo, Maxime Beauchemin, plus representatives from a wide range of analytic project leaders and users. In total there were 22 talks from 39 presenters. We had almost 300 registrants and 165 attendees. The videos are available for long-term viewing on the Altinity website (includes slide links) as well as our YouTube channel, so check them out. We’re already planning the next conference. 

We didn’t forget the meetups in the excitement. The SF Bay Area ClickHouse meetup held 6 meetings in 2021. 

Altinity Team

These are the people who made things list above happen. The Altinity team is one of the greatest I have ever worked with. We are very different personalities from 15 different countries, top notch professionals who work together, help our clients and each other, and build excellent products and services. The team has grown 30% in 2021, and we are still hiring!

What Is Next in 2022

ClickHouse will continue to improve in key directions. The development 2022 Roadmap highlights major features planned by the core team, but the community will definitely bring more.

We also have a lot of plans. Not all of them can be shared now, but the main direction remains unchanged. We will keep operating, maintaining and integrating ClickHouse in an increasing variety of environments. Wherever our clients need to run ClickHouse – we will help them. We are also going to continue to publish more projects in open source. 

But before then let’s turn over the last page of 2021 and… Happy New Year!

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