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Doug Henschen
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Kognitio Taps HP For Appliance Offerings

WX2 analytic database will be preconfigured for Hewlett-Packard servers and storage.

Joining the growing crowd of vendors offering prebuilt appliances targeting big-data analysis, database vendor Kognitio on Monday announced a lineup of four data warehousing products built on Hewlett-Packard hardware.

At the heart of the appliance line is Kognitio's WX2 analytic database, which supports both massively parallel processing and in-memory analysis. The new WX2-16, WX2-32, WX2-64 and WX2-64/2 appliances range from 16 servers, 2 terabytes of random access memory (RAM) and 19.2 terabytes of storage up to 64 servers, 16 terabytes of RAM and 75 terabytes of storage (uncompressed, user-accessible data).

With their combination of in-memory analysis and raw processing power, the appliances are said to support mixed workloads with both complex queries and high numbers of users. Prices start at $29,000 per terabyte, but that's without data compression, a capability the WX2 database doesn't currently support.

Kognitio said it will offer a free database upgrade in the first quarter of 2011 that will deliver 3X to 4X compression. That would bring Kognitio in line with EMC Greenplum, Netezza and Teradata on compression while undercutting all three on cost per terabyte.

The deal with HP is one more sign that momentum is shifting toward preconfigured appliances combining hardware and software. EMC last month released an appliance less than three months after acquiring the company behind the Greenplum database. IBM last year released its Smart Analytic Appliance and it's presumably close to finalizing its acquisition of Netezza, an early advocate of the appliance approach.

SAP also has announced plans for an analytic appliance set to debut late this year. And the general release of Microsoft's Parallel Data Warehouse appliance, now in beta, is imminent.

A British company with North American headquarters in Chicago, Kognitio reported more than 30 customers as of late 2009. The company said it will continue to sell its database separately so customers can run it on IBM, Dell or other hardware in custom configurations.

WX2 appliances can be linked together to scale as a single system without degradations in performance, according to the vendor. The units will ship directly from HP's factories but will be sold through and supported by the database vendor. HP will handle all hardware-related service.

Kognitio touted its appliances as being "less than half the cost" of competing solutions, but that's based on uncompressed capacity figures. Given that EMC Greenplum, Netezza and Teradata already claim 3X to 4X compression, the appeal of the WX2 appliances will hinge, in large measure, on compression features that have yet to be delivered.

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