Netezza is about to make its biggest product announcement in years. In particular:
For months, it has been an increasingly open secret that Netezza was planning a major refresh of its product line. As signaled by a blog post from Netezza's product marketing VP Phil Francisco, many of the details are finally fit to post.*
DMA (Direct Memory Access) technology also fits into the picture somehow.
Given faster interconnects, as well as faster CPUs, Netezza has changed its basic data path. Previously, data went from disk to the FPGAs (where it was filtered) to RAM, and from that point perhaps to the CPU for more processing. Now, however, data goes from disk to disk controller to RAM, and only then to the FPGAs.
The big win here -- beyond the usual benefits of standard CPUs -- is that Netezza now has a viable cache. Apparently, Netezza's current product line doesn't even cache the most heavily reused tables, such as those storing small dimensions or Netezza's zone map information. Netezza's new product family will be able to cache those and more, with a default of 256 megabytes of cache per core, and the ability to grow up to 1 gigabyte if needed or desired.