I visited Netezza Friday for what was mainly an NDA meeting. But while I was there I asked where Netezza stood on concurrency, workload management, and rapid data mart spin-out. Netezza’s claims in those regards turned out to be surprisingly strong.
In the biggest surprise, Netezza claimed at least one customer had >5,000 simultaneous users, and a second had >4,000. Both are household names. Other unspecified Netezza customers apparently also have >1,000 simultaneous users. (Perhaps one is Ross Stores, given how long ago it was said to be in the many 100s, but I didn’t think to ask.) I did not probe as to how demanding a typical user was, so these numbers may not really indicate what they appear to, but anyhow they’re vastly bigger than what I’ve heard from any analytic DBMS vendor newer than Netezza.
On the data mart spin-out side, another household-name Netezza customer has been rapidly spinning out virtual data marts, in a manner somewhat akin to eBay’s virtual data mart/”analytics-as-a-service” strategy* since 2004. However, the whole thing isn’t necessarily as slick as what eBay has going. This Netezza customer’s virtual data marts are more in the way of trials, with those data marts that prove really useful eventually getting instantiated physically on separate Netezza equipment.
*Actually, it’s not just eBay. Teradata told me earlier this week that a large fraction of its high-end customers spin out virtual data marts.
Both of these factoids lead naturally to questions along the line of “Oh really? Well, what have you got in workload management?” It turns out that Netezza has 3 layers of workload management:
- Things (Queries? Workloads? Users?) can be labeled as high/medium/low priority
- Beyond their priority level, things can get guaranteed resource allocation – i.e., an assured minimum share of disk (for temp space?), CPU, etc.
- Netezza software has a “short query bias” — i.e., shorter queries generally get higher priority.
Netezza further says that it’s working to enhance its workload management tools significantly.
Of the top of my head, I don’t recall how much workload management Teradata includes in its non-55xx products, which are the ones — especially the Teradata 2550 — Teradata positions as comparable to Netezza’s 10-xxx series.