August 9, 2008

Netezza update

In my usual dual role, I called Phil Francisco of Netezza to lay some post-Microsoft/DATAllegro consulting on him late on a Friday night — and then took the opportunity of being on the phone with him to get a general Netezza update. Netezza’s July quarter just ended, so they’re still in quiet period, so I didn’t press him for a lot of numerical detail. More generally, I didn’t find a lot out that wasn’t already covered in my May Netezza update. But notwithstanding all those disclaimers, it was still a pretty interesting chat.

My strongest takeaway was that Netezza sees concurrency as a significant competitive advantage. This is reflected in POCs, where Netezza guides prospects to simulate real-life mixed workloads. It also reflects the Netezza customer base. Phil says Netezza has “busy” warehouses with up to 80 terabytes of user data, with lots of busy ones in the single-digit to 20ish terabyte range. Multiple Netezza references have 100s of concurrent users, and the 1000 mark has been crossed.

Speaking of concurrency, Phil had a clear opinion of the typical Sybase IQ installation — a small reporting mart, supporting hundreds or thousands of users, but probably not a lot of ad hoc query. On the other hand, he recalls outright competing against Sybase only twice in the past year.

The vendor Netezza does see the most is, no surprise, Oracle. He put Oracle at 60ish percent, with most of the rest divided among Teradata and DB2 (only a few Microsoft SQL Server). Among the other new data warehouse specialists, Greenplum comes up the most often. (There was some confusion between “competitor” and “incumbent” in our discussion, and the sample sizes are small anyway, so fine levels of detail shouldn’t be taken too seriously.)

On the advanced analytics side, it sounds as if SAS integration akin to Teradata’s will happen sooner than any significant integration of Netezza’s own NuTech acquisition.


3 Responses to “Netezza update”

  1. Aniruddha Mitra on August 12th, 2008 9:47 am

    Netezza in their first version had horrible concurrency issues. It somewhat improved in next releases. However I do not buy that “Netezza sees concurrency as a significant competitive advantage”. I am not sure about the latest version, but the version we run in house, I do not see a good product like priority schedular of Oracle resource manager to let the short queries to pass through quickly. I may be wrong, but comments are welcome.


  2. Sanjay on August 12th, 2008 3:41 pm

    I agree that Netezza’s claims on concurrency are bogus. Concurrency is not just the ability to run long running queries with short/tactical ones. That is what they are talking about when they say concurrency. Another aspect of concurrency is the ability to support data modifications/loads while users are active on the system – AND NETEZZA SUCKS AT THIS. You run one or two large load jobs while many users are on the system and the whole thing goes to hell in a hand basket. So a lot of this is just marketing crap..

  3. Kevin on July 22nd, 2009 11:19 am

    NETEZZA is designed primarily as a Data Warehouse solution. Typically these aren’t 24/7 live systems. The benefit is performing data analytics on a whole new level

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