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Greenplum Analyzes Patterns In 700 Million Text Messages A Day

A data warehouse appliance, produced by Greenplum in partnership with Sun Microsystems, can analyze customer usage patterns and customer call center traffic to map out better services, among other applications.

Charles Babcock

February 9, 2007

2 Min Read

Greenplum, the firm that's converted the PostgreSQL open source database into a high-speed, parallel data warehouse, is now supplying customer information to a cell phone service with 22 million customers.

Smart Communications is the leading provider of wireless service in the Philippines. It delivers 700 million text messages a day, serving a culture where text messaging, as well as voice traffic, is especially popular.

Smart is using a data warehouse appliance produced by Greenplum in partnership with Sun Microsystems to analyze customer usage patterns and customer call center traffic to map out better services, said Alexander Seminiano, head of Smart's Convergent Platforms Group.

The data warehouse appliance is sold by Sun and built on a Sun Fire X4500, a server based on dual-core Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices that are tightly integrated with rack mount disk capacity. The Sun Fire X4500 was formerly referred to as Thumper.

At the low end, the appliance costs $20,000 per terabyte. It can be built with in 10-, 40- and 100-Tbyte versions. At the high end, a 100-Tbyte configuration is priced at $17,500 per terabyte, or $1,750,000 for a 100-Tbyte data warehouse. Sun's Solaris 10 operating system and ZFS 128-bit file system are part of the product.

"It's a very dense package," said Bill Cook, who was announced as the new CEO of Greenplum on Feb. 6. Cook is the former head of U.S. sales at Sun and a 19-year veteran with Sun. In his peak year, his field sales force produced $5 billion in revenue.

A Greenplum parallel processing data warehouse may be built using Linux and a free download of the Greenplum open source code, said Luke Lonergan, CTO and cofounder of Greenplum, in an interview. The data warehouse appliance produced by Sun is a turnkey unit, ready to run upon delivery. Matching up the parallelized database system with "a hybrid storage/processor server" allows a data warehouse that can scale up both its processing power and its data handling capabilties, Lonergan said.

Greenplum obtained $15 million in venture capital financing in January, with Sierra Ventures as the lead investor. Also participating were Mission Ventures, Dawntreader Ventures, and EDF Ventures. The company also obtained a $4 million line of credit from Comerica Bank to finance continued development of its database system and expand sales and marketing.

Greenplum previously announced that Frontier Airlines was using its system for flight management.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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