March 18, 2010
I talked with Geno Valente of XtremeData tonight. Highlights included:
- XtremeData still hasn’t sold any dbX stuff (they’ve had a side business in generic FPGA-based boards paying the bills for years). Well, there may have been some paid POCs (proofs of concept) or something, but real sales haven’t come through yet.
- XtremeData does have three prospects who have said “Yes”, and expects one order to come through this month.
- XtremeData continues to believe it shines when:
- Data models are complex
- In particular, there are complex joins
- In particular, two large tables have to be joined with each other, under circumstances where no product can avoid doing vast data redistribution
- XtremeData insists that all the nice things Bill Inmon – including in webinars — has said about it has not been for pay or other similar business compensation. That’s quite unusual.
- XtremeData is coming out with a new product, codenamed the Personal Data Warehouse (PDW), which:
- Is ready to go into beta test
- Should be launched in a month and a half or so
- Will have a different name when it is launched
- The XtremeData PDW consists of XtremeData software running on a Cray CX1 box.
- Thus, the XtremeData PDW will plug into a 20 amp wall power socket. It consumes 1600 watts.
- The XtremeData PDW also inherits the Cray CX1’s noise cancellation feature.
- Bottom line on the form factor: The XtremeData PDW is meant to be stuck in the corner of a business analyst’s office, not a computer room.
- The XtremeData PDW will have 16 1 TB disks (going up in size later), for 5 TB of uncompressed user data.
- Pricing isn’t finalized for the XtremeData PDW, but it will be around XtremeData’s usual figure — $20K/TB of uncompressed user data.
- XtremeData hasn’t “released” compression yet, but it’s “ready to go.”
- The XtremeData PDW will not include FPGAs, unlike other XtremeData dbX appliances. It will just run the XtremeData dbX software on 8 Nehalem chips.
- XtremeData calls this a “3-node” machine. I didn’t bother asking why it wasn’t 4-node. (Perhaps there’s a head node of some kind that properly isn’t counted.)
Some comparative notes:
- A Netezza Skimmer has similar size and price to the XtremeData PDW, seems to draw less power, has less uncompressed user data capacity (but already has compression), is also in essence a three-node system (I think), and of course has a lot of software connectivity. If XtremeData can match Netezza’s compression, the XtremeData PDW will have a 2X or so price/TB advantage over Netezza Skimmer – but Netezza’s compression is of course a moving target. I don’t know how happy Skimmer is outside a computer room.
- Kickfire manages similar amounts of data on a smaller box (5 rack units vs. 7), drawing less power (600 watts vs.1600), also with a lot of BI and ETL tool connectivity.
Categories: Analytic technologies, Benchmarks and POCs, Data warehouse appliances, Data warehousing, Database compression, Kickfire, Market share and customer counts, Netezza, Pricing, XtremeData
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