Fearing that last year’s tight travel budgets would hamper attendance, Netezza – like a number of other vendors – decided to forgo a traditional user conference. Instead, it took its Enzee Universe show on the road, essentially spreading the conference across eight cities. I was asked to keynote six of the installments.
After the first one, Netezza Marketing VP Tim Young took me aside for two pieces of constructive criticism. The surprising one* was that he felt I had been INSUFFICIENTLY critical of Netezza. Since then, every other conversation we’ve had about content creation has also featured ringing reassurances that Tim truly wants independent, non-pandering work.
*The unsurprising one was that I’d rushed. Well, duh. After months of telling me I had a 1 hour slot, Netezza cut me to ½ hour a few days beforehand. And my talk had been designed to be high-speed even in the longer time slot …
As a result, I accepted a subsequent gig from Netezza that I would barely consider from most other vendors. Namely, for this year’s Enzee Universe – June 21-23, aka Monday-Wednesday of this week, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston – I would do some contemporaneous blogging. The parameters we agreed on included:
- I would just blog here on DBMS2, with Netezza allowed to reuse posts in their entirety on its site(s).
- I also would give a talk on the conference’s last day.
- I wouldn’t say much about conference sessions, because:
- I’m not a session-attending kind of guy. (I wasn’t particularly good at sitting still in class in 8th grade. I haven’t gotten much better since. And I have a huge aversion to other people’s uninterruptible PowerPoints.)
- I think Netezza’s sessions are just as hype-filled as anybody else’s. (Much as I enjoyed traveling around the world with Netezza last year, it was painful hearing Jim Baum claim in city after city that Netezza boasts a 50X performance advantage vs. the competition.)
- Rather, I’d base things much more on individual conversations and meetings.
- Because I didn’t see how turnaround time could work otherwise, we’d have some of those meetings beforehand, and others early in the conference.
That last bit didn’t exactly wholly work out; for the second consecutive year Netezza pulled a surprise schedule switch a few days beforehand. But:
- I did have extensive, fascinating meetings at Netezza’s offices on Thursday, which were the fodder for multiple posts going up today.
- I have a nice meeting schedule set up for Tuesday.
- There should be plenty of opportunity for hallway and exhibit-floor conversation as the conference progresses.
- I even have my own private conference room, with a lovely name (the “Paine Room”).
So far as I know, the rest of the plan is still operative.
Posts already written as I draft this one include:
- A long discussion of Netezza’s technology, focusing on the database parts
- A discussion of Netezza’s and IBM’s compression strategies
- Notes on how Netezza balances its silicon and uses its FPGAs
- A quickie on data warehouse loading latency
I still need to write one focusing on Netezza’s advanced analytics strategy, and plan to edit in a link to it when it’s up.