In its latest earnings call, Oracle made a reference to The Nielsen Company that was — to put it politely — rather confusing. I just plopped down in a chair next to Greg Goff, who evidently runs data warehousing at Nielsen, and had a quick chat. Here’s the real story.
- The Nielsen Company has over half a petabyte of data on Netezza in the US. This installation is growing.
- The Nielsen Company indeed has 45 terabytes or whatever of data on Oracle in its European (Customer) Information Factory. This is not particularly growing. Nielsen’s Oracle data warehouse has been built up over the past 9 years. It’s not new. It’s certainly not on Exadata, nor planned to move to Exadata.
- These are not single-instance databases. Nielsen’s biggest single Netezza database is 20 terabytes or so of user data, and its biggest single Oracle database is 10 terabytes or so.
- Much (most?) of the rest of the installations are customer data marts and the like, based in each case on the “big” central database. (That’s actually a classic data mart use case.) Greg said that Netezza’s capabilities to spin out those databases seemed pretty good.
- That 10 terabyte Oracle data warehouse instance requires a lot of partitioning effort and so on in the usual way.
- Nielsen has no immediate plans to replace Oracle with Netezza.
- Nielsen actually has 800 terabytes or so of Netezza equipment. Some of that is kept more lightly loaded, for performance.