Greenplum’s largest named account is Fox Interactive Media — the parent organization of MySpace — which has a multi-hundred terabyte database that it uses for hardcore data mining/analytics. Greenplum has been engaging in regrettable business practices, claiming that it is in the process of supplanting Aster Data at Fox/MySpace. In fact, MySpace’s use of Aster is more mission-critical than Fox’s use of Greenplum, and is increasing significantly.
Still, as Greenplum’s gushing customer video with Fox Interactive Media* illustrates, the Fox/Greenplum database is impressive on its own merits. Indeed, the Fox/Greenplum database seems to be larger than the one MySpace runs on Aster, even though it seems to be used less intensively. Perhaps data is thrown out from the Aster database but never from the Greenplum one, or perhaps the Greenplum database just ingests more data in the first place.
*The Greenplum video features completely different customer personnel than Aster’s. I’m sure of this because all the Fox people on the Greenplum video are male, while all the MySpace techies on Aster’s video are female.
In particular, Fox Interactive uses a database architectural idea I’m hearing ever more about. Within the data warehouse, it creates data mart “sandboxes,” that analysts can use however they wish. They can even create and delete tables without screwing up the underlying data. eBay famously uses a similar approach in its Teradata installation, and I believe Dell’s DATAllegro data warehouse is set up that way as well.