March 16, 2007

Netezza under fire

I talk to a lot of data warehouse software and/or appliance start-ups. Naturally, they’re all gunning for Netezza, and regale me with stories about competitive replacements, competitive wins, benchmark wins, and the like. And there have been a couple of personnel departures too, notably development chief Bill Blake. Netezza insists this is because he got a CEO offer he couldn’t refuse, he’s still friendly with the company, development plans are entirely on track, and news of some sort is coming out in a few weeks. Also, Greenplum brags that its Asia/Pacific manager was snagged from Netezza.

On the other hand, Netezza claims lots of sales momentum, and that’s certainly consistent with what I hear from its competitors. It also gets the occasionally cool partnership, like the Business Objects BI appliance deal. And in response to the long-standing concurrent-usage knock, I am assured there are now multiple customers with >500 users getting daily reports, doing 10s of 1000s of queries per day, and so on. Since the overall count of enterprises with multi-thousand seat BI deployments isn’t all that terribly high, this serves as substantial – even if not total — reassurance on that score.

Bottom line: Netezza claims easy deployment and great price/performance. Until this is consistently disproved in benchmarks, the company should continue to prosper.

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