Matillion Key Concepts – The Matillion Data Accelerator

  • Matillion
  • January 25, 2013

There are lots of BI solutions and there are even a couple of other Cloud BI solutions.  They all pose a certain challenge which is – how do we get our business data from our source systems into them?

At Matillion, we use the MDA or, “Matillion Data Accelerator”.

Originally designed by Matillion Product Developer Dave Hough, the MDA allows us to extract all the business data you need to analyse, in a way that is:

  • Reliable
  • Secure
  • Fast
  • and like everything else about Matillion BI, low-hassle and easy to set-up

Here’s how we do it….


The Matillion Data Accelerator is, essentially, a little metal box.  We Fed-Ex one out to you the day you sign-up with us.

Here’s a picture of one:


You plug in the MDA, press the button on the front, then using the magic of the Information Super-Highway, it connects back to Matillion HQ and lets us know it’s happy in its new home.

Using the MDA we transmit your data reliably and perfomantly to Matillion, ready to use.  We use the same security banks use to protect the data on the way.

Essentially, that’s how we get your data into Matillion.

Now, if you like tecchie stuff, read on…

How it works

  • Data Compression and Performance
    • The MDA compresses data from your source database(s) before it is sent, securely, over the internet, to Matillion’s data centre.  This reduces network bandwidth utilisation and increases performance
    • As well as compressing the data, the MDA also “packages” database records into frames, reducing latency and “chatter” and further increasing performance
    • The MDA reduces latency and increases performance by 10-100x depending on source data and network conditions
  • Security
    • The MDA also encrypts your data before it is transmitted, ensuring security
    • The MDA uses a 2048 bit RSA encryption key with AES128-ctr used for the transport level encryption
    • Other
      • Design – the MDA is a solid state device meaning there are no moving parts such as hard disks
      • Energy – the MDA uses over 90% less energy than other computers; hence it produces over 90% less heat. The heat it does produce is dissipated through the aluminium casing, meaning there’s no need for noisy, unreliable cooling fans.  It consumes about 2 watts of energy.
      • Technology – the MDA is based on the NVIDIA®  Tegra 2™  processor, featuring a dual core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 core and an ultra-low power GeForce GPU, with 1 GB DDR2 RAM soldered on-board.  This means it delivers fast, multi-core performance.  The A9 processor, like Matillion BI, was designed in the UK.
      • Size – the MDA measures 13cm x 9.5cm x 1.5cm, making only slightly larger than the average smart phone (e.g. iPhone 4= 11.52cm x 5.86cm x 0.95cm)
      • Monitoring and Management – the MDA, once connected and powered, is managed and monitored by Matillion remotely.  Our monitoring systems check availability and workload.  Software update and configuration is over-the-wire
MDA Port Diagram
MDA Port Diagram

Technical Specifications:

Processor Arm Cortex-A9
Dual Core
Memory 1GB DDR2
Storage 4GB Micro SD
Networking 1 x 1GB Ethernet port, activity LEDs
Static or DHCP IP
Dimensions 130 x 95 x 15mm (700g)
Power 2W
240V Power Supply
Operating System Linux (hardened)
Security 2048 bit RSA encryption
Software Matillion data compression software

You can learn more about the key concepts of Matillion BI, such as: Self-Serve Reporting, The Glossary, Dashboards, Report Scheduling, Mobile Access, Microsoft Excel Integration and the Matillion Data Warehouse, in other blog posts in this series.