August 19, 2012

Data warehouse appliance — analytic glossary draft entry

This is a draft entry for the DBMS2 analytic glossary. Please comment with any ideas you have for its improvement!

Note: Words and phrases in italics will be linked to other entries when the glossary is complete.

A data warehouse appliance is a combination of hardware and software that includes an analytic DBMS (DataBase Management System). However, some observers incorrectly apply the term “data warehouse appliance” to any analytic DBMS.

The paradigmatic vendors of data warehouse appliances are:

Further, vendors of analytic DBMS commonly offer — directly or through partnerships — optional data warehouse appliance configurations; examples include:

Oracle Exadata is sometimes regarded as a data warehouse appliance as well, despite not being solely focused on analytic use cases.

Data warehouse appliances inherit marketing claims from the category of analytic DBMS, such as:

Further advantages specifically because they are appliances can include:

Opinions differ as to whether a system has to have some of these further advantages to properly be called an “appliance”.

An alternate term for “data warehouse appliance” is analytic appliance. Reasons for using the latter term might include:


4 Responses to “Data warehouse appliance — analytic glossary draft entry”

  1. Analytic platform — analytic glossary draft entry | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on August 19th, 2012 5:32 pm

    […] platform” is an analytic DBMS with well-integrated in-database analytics, or a data warehouse appliance that includes one. The term is also sometimes used to refer […]

  2. Thomas W Dinsmore on August 20th, 2012 8:12 am

    To paraphrase Forrest Gump, a data warehouse appliance is as a data warehouse does. If the vendor can drop off the device on Monday and you can run queries on Tuesday, it’s an appliance; otherwise, it’s something else.

    Some, but not all, of Teradata’s product line meet this test. Everything Netezza ships is an appliance. And Greenplum is sort of applianc-ey sometimes, depending on how good the presale engineers are.

  3. Rob Klopp on August 20th, 2012 2:50 pm

    I think that there is a concept of a “database appliance”… of which a “data warehouse appliance” is a special case. Depending on the mood that you are in an “analytic appliance” might be a special case of a “DW appliance” or not.

    I worry about the term suggestion that a “data warehouse appliance” requires an “analytic database”… unless support for basic reporting and BI queries requires an “analytic database”.

    I love the intent of the glossary…

  4. Curt Monash on August 20th, 2012 3:47 pm


    That’s a good point. In fact, it’s a great point. Thanks!!

    Just Exadata alone would be good reason to split out the concepts of “database appliance” and “data warehouse appliance”. The definition of the former would acknowledge that the more common term is the latter.

    Having Clustrix and so on covered would just be a bonus. 😉 I’m also not very happy with calling Yarcdata a “data warehouse appliance”, even though it’s an analytics-only database appliance.

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