Software // Information Management
04:04 PM
Connect Directly
The Analytics Job and Salary Outlook for 2016
Jan 28, 2016
With data science and big data top-of-mind for all types of organizations, hiring analytics profes ...Read More>>

Netezza Says Software Upgrade Doubles Performance

Expanded support for mixed workloads moves Netezza's appliance into enterprise data warehouse roles.

Netezza Corp. today announced Release 4 of the Netezza Performance Server (NPS), its integrated hardware and software better known as a data warehouse appliance. The Release 4 upgrades are all within the software and are said to double the performance of both current and previous generations of the company's hardware -- without increases in price, hardware footprint or power or cooling requirements. The upgrade also improves support for mixed query types, making the appliance more suitable for general data-warehousing needs.

While some appliance competitors build on commodity hardware, Netezza credits its hardware/software integration with enabling ongoing performance improvement. "Our appliance tightly integrates a relational database with server and storage," explains Ellen Rubin, vice president of marketing. "Because we control the entire technology stack, we can use the software to take advantage of hardware acceleration."

With a processor and a "field programmable gate array" on each drive, the hardware can receive instructions from Netezza's optimization software as queries are launched so it can prioritize which data to move into the system for processing.

"Netezza does gain an advantage by controlling both the software and the hardware because it can optimize the combination," says Dan Vesset, an analyst with IDC.

One downside of proprietary hardware is cost, but it may also be a stumbling block for IT if it's not in keeping with corporate standards. "If the internal skills are centered on Sun servers or EMC storage, [IT] might not want to bring in another vendor," says Vesset.

Appliances have gained a reputation for being best suited to focused data-mart applications involving complex queries across fairly uniform data, but Netezza says its latest upgrade does a better job of prioritizing simple ad-hoc queries alongside more complex challenges.

"The strong suit for appliances is still in handling more complex queries, but I've seen some clients moving toward more enterprise-warehouse deployments," says Vesset.

Netezza cites Ross Stores as an example. The retailer's 10-terabyte Netezza-based warehouse was originally set up to handle merchandize and market basket analysis, but it's now handling mixed requirements including thousands of Monday-morning queries among more than 500 users.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Knock Down Barriers to Effective Risk Management
Risk management today is a hodgepodge of systems, siloed approaches, and poor data collection practices. That isn't how it should be.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.