Netezza Speeds Spatial Analysis in its Data Warehouse Appliance

Optional module offers a faster route to location intelligence exploiting massively parallel processing.

Doug Henschen, Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

September 16, 2008

2 Min Read

Insurance companies weighing flood risks, telecommunications companies optimizing network efficiency and retailers assessing potential new locations: These are just a few examples of the customers Netezza believes will benefit from Netezza Spatial, a geospatial analysis module developed for its Netezza Performance Server (NPS) data warehouse appliance. Announced today at Netezza's user conference in Orlando, the module exploits the massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture of the NPS, thereby running location-intelligence analyses 30 to 40 times faster than in conventional data warehouse environments, according to Netezza.

Netezza Spatial, which was developed by Netezza Development Network partner Intelligent Integration Systems, Inc. (IISI), enables the NPS to store and query location data such as points, lines, polygons, and other references to physical space within the data warehouse. Many databases have the ability to store special data and many appliances offer MPP architectures, but Netezza says the Spatial module is unique in its ability to compute against location information.

"Part of what we were able to exploit is the MPP architecture, but the other part is our ability to open up that architecture through a simple API and have all of those nodes execute a C++ program under the same controls that we have for SQL processing," explains Netezza executive Phil Francisco. "The customer runs what looks like standard SQL queries, it's very manageable and scalable, and it doesn't require a lot of tuning."

Speed to analysis is said to be the biggest benefit, with complicated analyses reportedly taking minutes instead of hours if not days. "If a retail chain needs to make a decision on the site for a new store within the next three days, it makes a huge difference whether it can just run one analysis which takes two days, or dozens of analyses which take 30 minutes each, allowing you to try a range of assumptions and different models," states geospatial expert Peter Batty.

To get spatial data into the NPS, Netezza has partnered with Safe Software, which offers ETL software that supports KML, ESRI, Map Info and more than 220 other spatial data types.

Netezza Spatial is an optional module for the NPS and it is available immediately. Pricing was not disclosed.

About the Author(s)

Doug Henschen

Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of Transform Magazine, and Executive Editor at DM News. He has covered IT and data-driven marketing for more than 15 years.

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