March 2, 2009

Named customer silliness

Neither Greenplum nor eBay will say for the record that eBay is a Greenplum customer. Indeed, saying that is quite verboten. On the other hand, Greenplum’s press release boilerplate says that Skype is a Greenplum customer, and Skype is of course a subsidiary of eBay.  (Edit: Speaking of silliness, fixed a typo there.)

The point of such distinctions is sometimes lost on me.

In related news, of Greenplum’s two customers who back in August were supposedly heading into production soon with petabyte-plus databases, one hasn’t yet made it to that size. (“As we speak” turned out to be a longer conversation than I might have anticipated ….) The other (of course unnamed) customer has, Greenplum assures me, made it that high.  But upon checking with that (unnamed, in case I forgot to mention the point) customer, I don’t detect a whole lot of enthusiasm about Greenplum.


3 Responses to “Named customer silliness”

  1. Luke Lonergan on March 2nd, 2009 10:46 am

    Wow Curt, this is extremely harsh and incorrect in many ways. I hate to your great DBMS2 blog smeared by such mis-information as this posting contains.

    Skype is a division of Paypal, which is indeed part of eBay. They have been a Greenplum customer for more than 3 years. They have a small sized warehouse that has been quietly doing it’s job all that time.

    As for “as we speak”, that customer is now at 3,000TB + and growing very quickly. They are doing analysis with Greenplum that they could never do before. It’s easily the worlds largest data warehouse and it is SQL compliant, as are all Greenplum systems. Can you think of anyone else doing many table joins on normalized schemas over 1PB?

    As for customers we can’t talk about, well, we can’t talk about them. Speculating (and incorrectly at that) doesn’t help your readers, us, or anyone else.

    – Luke

  2. Curt Monash on March 2nd, 2009 4:17 pm


    Your VP of Marketing, Paul Salazar, told me last week that the “as we speak” customer was still under 1 petabyte. I look forward to you two getting into agreement on the point. Please let me know when you do!

    I also look forward to your salesmen ceasing to make a false claim that another vendor is getting thrown out of that account, but that’s probably a bit much to hope for.

    As for eBay, Seth Grimes wrote in that Greenplum claimed to have them as a customer, and I’m not aware of any dispute from you.

    As for the unnamed customer — every time I ask him about Greenplum, he hastens to point out that there is at least one competing product he likes much better.

    As for anybody else having a super-big database, and being happy with it — how about eBay’s repeated public statements about Teradata? They’re using Teradata in a lot of ways. Maybe NONE of the use cases are as demanding as what the unnamed customer is using Greenplum for. I don’t know, but anyhow I hope to learn more about what they’re doing. Dunno if I’ll be able to or not.

    As for whether it helps anybody to talk about unnamed customers — are you suggesting that my original posts about same shouldn’t have been made?



  3. Fox Interactive Media’s multi-hundred terabyte database running on Greenplum | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on March 5th, 2009 9:06 am

    […] Greenplum’s biggest customers […]

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